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Allegory of the regency of Anna of Austria - Laurent de la Gere. 1648
A woman in an antique dress, personifying France, sits in the center of this large composition and holds a palm branch signifying victory, and a globe covered with heraldic lilies (from the 12th century this stylized flower with three petals connecting at the base decorated French royal armor). The girl with wings standing behind France is about to crown her with a laurel wreath and may represent Victory, Virtue, or perhaps Persistence or Persistence - as the column behind her hints at. Above these figures, the greatness of France is celebrated Slava blowing a horn, and the little boy on the right - a symbol of peace - throws weapons into the fire. The ancient temple in the background, along with the mountain, cornucopia and fruits at the feet of France, represents the generous gifts and cultural goods that the world has brought.
The picture of de la Gira is dated 1648, and is sometimes interpreted as an allegory of the Westphalian peace treaty (signed that year, this treaty put an end to the Thirty Years War). Her other interpretation is an allegory of the regency of Anna of Austria: her son Louis XIV was only five years old when his father died, and Anna ruled France from 1643 to 1661.
Laurel. In ancient mythology, the leaves of the laurel tree became a symbol of Apollo when the divine powers turned mortal Daphne into a laurel. This transformation was to save her from the arms of Apollo, after Cupid pierced this god with an arrow of love. An arrow was fired at Daphne, pushing love away, and in painting Daphne is usually depicted running away from the pursuing Apollo at the moment when her hands turn into branches. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome, honored citizens wore a wreath of laurel leaves, hence the name of the honorary post comes from
intended for poets - poet laureate. Ancient Roman generals who defeated the enemy are often depicted crowned with laurel wreaths.