Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Butterfly symbolism

Acherontia atropos. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Acherontia atropos. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Butterfly – a symbol of the soul, immortality, rebirth and resurrection, the ability to convert, to transform, as the winged celestial being is born, transforming from the mundane caterpillars. The butterfly is a symbol of the Great Goddess (the Great Mother, Magna Mater). The image of the Great Goddess goes back to the earliest times of human history, to the Paleolithic. This is the supreme deity personified both heaven and earth, life and death. With the Great Goddess associated birds and flying insects. One of the insects, representing the goddess, was a butterfly. (Butterflies in paintings by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders)

Aglais urticae Linne. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Aglais urticae Linne. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

With the Great Goddess associated birds and flying insects. One of the insects, representing the goddess, was a butterfly. Hence beliefs that witches can turn into butterflies, butterflies promote fertility and portend war (for example, the Romans called the butterfly feralis- «fierce”), that the butterfly – the souls of the dead.

Agrias Narcissus. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Agrias Narcissus. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

In addition, in many cultures, the butterfly symbolizes the transitory nature of joy. In China, this winged creature represents immortality, leisure abundant, joy and summer. Depicted with a plum butterfly symbolizes longevity and beauty, with the chrysanthemum – the beauty in old age, with a pen – longevity.

Antherea Pernyi. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Antherea Pernyi. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

The image of the butterfly is found in Taoist parables. The philosopher Chuang Tzu once saw a butterfly in a dream. Waking up, he could not understand: Chuang Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreamed that he was Chzhuan Tzu?

Anthocharis cardamines Linne. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Anthocharis cardamines Linne. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Another story told by Chuang Tzu, tells about a young scientist, chasing a beautiful butterfly, accidentally entered the private property of a retired judge. He saw his daughter, and was so mesmerized by her charms, that decided to work hard and try to get her as his wife. In this he succeeded, and rose to high rank. Here butterfly – a sign of marital happiness, we can say, the Chinese Cupid.

Apatura ilia Ichiffermiiler. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Apatura ilia Ichiffermiiler. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

The Japanese butterfly symbolizes a young woman, and flitting around one another butterfly means marital happiness. White butterfly – the spirit of the deceased.

Butterfly symbolism. Arctia caja. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Arctia caja. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

In ancient Mexico butterfly related to an attribute of the god of vegetation, spring and love, “Prince of Flowers”. In addition, it was associated with the Sun and was a symbol of swaying fire. Cut with stone knives (ittsli) butterfly – a goddess Itspapalotl, “Obsidian Butterfly”, a night of stars and flaming spirit at the same time – a symbol of the souls of women died in childbirth.

Butterfly symbolism. Arctia flavia. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Arctia flavia. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

The ancient Greeks believed the butterfly – a symbol of immortality of the soul. Psyche, whose name means “soul”, presented in the form of a girl with butterfly wings.

Butterfly symbolism. Argemma Mittrei. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Argemma Mittrei. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

In Christianity, the stage of development of the butterfly represents life, death and resurrection, so the butterfly is sometimes depicted in a hand of infant Christ that symbolizes rebirth and resurrection of the soul. In paintings it is depicted as life in paradise, such wings have a soul, which the Creator places into the body of Adam.

Butterfly symbolism. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Argynnis paphia Linne. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

The Slavs with butterfly bind – primarily idea of ​​the soul. The people often speak of a butterfly as the soul of the deceased or the harbinger of death, and sometimes it is the image of death.

Butterfly symbolism. Attacus Atlas. Painting by Carl Brenders

Attacus Atlas. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Automeris io. Painting by Carl Brenders

Automeris io. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Brahmaea Walichii. Painting by Carl Brenders

Brahmaea Walichii. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Charaxes jasius. Painting by Carl Brenders

Charaxes jasius. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Danaus Plexippus. Painting by Carl Brenders

Danaus Plexippus. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Eupackardia Galleta. Painting by Carl Brenders

Eupackardia Galleta. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Euphydryas cynthia Ichiffermiiller. Painting by Carl Brenders

Euphydryas cynthia Ichiffermiiller. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Galigo Atreus. Painting by Carl Brenders

Galigo Atreus. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Geometra papilionaria. Painting by Carl Brenders

Geometra papilionaria. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Golias Hyale. Painting by Carl Brenders

Golias Hyale. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Gyaniris semiargus. Painting by Carl Brenders

Gyaniris semiargus. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Kaniska Ganace. Painting by Carl Brenders

Kaniska Ganace. Painting by Carl Brenders

Melanitis Leda. Painting by Carl Brenders

Melanitis Leda. Painting by Carl Brenders

Papilio Machaon Linne. Painting by Carl Brenders

Papilio Machaon Linne. Painting by Carl Brenders

Papilio Wysses. Painting by Carl Brenders

Papilio Wysses. Painting by Carl Brenders

Rothschildia Jocobae. Painting by Carl Brenders

Rothschildia Jocobae. Painting by Carl Brenders

source