VISIONARY REVUE


HECATE


      In the same year that Johfra’s Hermetic works were reaching their apex, he also executed a large painting of Hecate (1973). The importance of this work can only be fully appreciated when viewed in light of Johfra’s later artistic output. In fact, this painting is the first Pantheist work, and announces many of the themes that will become the main focus of larger canvases later on.
      He has chosen for his subject a Goddess of ancient Greece. Rather than celebrating the love of Aphrodite or the wisdom of Athena, he has chosen instead the darker, primordial powers of life that are manifest in Hecate, Goddess of the Underworld.
      She is crowned with the owl, a wise hunter who only takes flight at night. At her feet is Hecate’s emblem, the three-headed beast with the faces of a dog, a horse, and a lion (Johfra has substituted a human face for the lion’s).
      In fact, in her most ancient form, Hecate was worshipped as a dog, a ‘whelping bitch’. An Ionian seal preserves this image of a dog with its female sex well-exposed while her young suckle at her breasts. The three-headed hound Cerebus who guards the gates of Hades, was, in fact, a substitute image for Hecate herself. Johfra preserves this more ancient image of Hecate through the three-headed beast at her feet.



 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003


HECATE
1973

      The goddess’s role in Greek mythology was vague. She was clearly a very ancient goddess of fertility whose worship declined and was slowly forgotten. Still, Hesiod recalled her rulership over the heavens, earth, and the seas. And he added that all abundance from these realms came from her, though she took away as well: “If she will, she increases from a few to many, or makes many to be less” (Theogony l. 446). That is why even great Zeus, king of the gods, “honoured her above all” (Theogony l. 412).




 
 
 


<--LAST PAGE

 


NEXT PAGE -->

 
 


HOME

 


EDITORIAL

 


JOHFRA:
THE LIFE

 


JOHFRA:
THE WORKS

 


HERMETIC
JOHFRA

 


PANTHEIST
JOHFRA


 
 


DIANA
VANDENBERG


 


ELLEN
LORIEN


 


JOHFRA
GALLERY


 


VANDENBERG
GALLERY


 


LORIEN
GALLERY


 


LINKS