Proserpina (Persephone) and the Changing of the Seasons

First Night Design

Proserpina in Pluto's Palace

Proserpina in Pluto’s Palace by First Night Vintage

“I shall not touch it, I assure you,” said she. Thus runs the quote for this illustration by the American artist Virginia Frances Sterrett that depicts the goddess Proserpina in Pluto’s palace rejecting his offer of pomegranate seeds. The illustration was one of several undertaken by Sterrett for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s adaptation of six Greek myths. These were published by the Penn Publishing Company in 1921 as Tanglewood Tales. The Pomegranate Seeds recounts the tale of Roman goddess Proserpina, or Persephone in Greece, and how she ultimately succumbs, thus creating seasonal changes. Like all myths, there are various versions. If you want to find out more, click here. To read about the life of Virginia Frances Sterrett, who had barely reached her 30s before tuberculosis cut her down, click here.

The image comes from  the Old Book Art Gallery

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5 thoughts on “Proserpina (Persephone) and the Changing of the Seasons

    1. Save us from cute puppies and sparkles. I have the same problem here in Crete – yes, I’ve ‘come out’ about the fact that I’m also an ex-pat, about which I will post anon as only now is it official! Thank you for dropping in and for using the word ‘elegant’ as that pleases me enormously!


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