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I filed away this Caron advertisement from 1940 a while ago, not just because I liked it, but because I had a feeling that its imagery was borrowed from some earlier work of art. Yesterday, in a completely unrelated search, I came across the source…

Caron’s illustrator was definitely looking at this first-century fresco from the Villa Arianna in Stabiae, near Pompeii, and he or she made just a few adjustments to the woman’s hairstyle and the edges of her draperies.

The fresco now belongs to the collections of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples. The British Museum offers a short-and-sweet description of this ancient wall painting:

“Flora, the goddess of fertility, flowers and spring. Wearing a golden yellow tunic and a white mantle, which falls from her shoulder, she walks away from the viewer, plucking a flower to put with the others in the cornucopia (horn of plenty).”

It’s a perfect image to contemplate on a dreary winter day like today.

Images: Caron advertisement (1940) via Paperpursuits; fresco via British Museum.

To see more posts in this series, see here.