Fruit, especially grapes and oranges were symbols of fertility and wealth in French tradition.
Throughout the art history there is an overwhelming presence of dogs as status symbols and pets in painting mainly. In the Western culture, dogs were brought to houses and were allowed to live in the house and cherished as part of the family. We think of dogs as “man’s best friend” but this hasn’t been the only perception of man’s furry, domesticated companion.
In the Middle Ages iconography, dogs symbolize faithfulness, devotion or loyalty. Images of dogs were often carved on tombstones to represent the deceased’s feudal loyalty or marital fidelity.
That’s not all though. Ideas of wealth carried over from English tradition, where dogs often reflected wealth or social status; as many wealthy women in the court had lap dogs as companions. Furthermore, Hunting dogs were generally connected to the aristocracy, because it was understood that only the upper classes who used them for hunting and could afford to feed them.
Dog portraits became increasingly popular in the 18th century, and the establishment of The Kennel Club in the UK in 1873 and the American Kennel Club in 1884 further encouraged the popularity of dog portraiture. The prices achieved for canine art increased the 1980s–90s and started to gain popularity in established art circles rather than antique markets.
Buyers can generally be divided into three dominant categories: hunters; breeders and exhibitors of pedigree dogs; and owners of companion animals.
Symbolizes eternity. Ancient Greek & Roman, guardian spirit, symbol of wisdom. A gift of jewelry presented to celebrate a life event was a new and exceedingly popular Victorian tradition and these tokens were always saturated with sentiment. In Victorian jewelry Symbolizes• Token of Remembrance• Symbol of Love• Reminder of Friendship• Keepsake of a Child• Keepsake of One who has Gone Away (i.e. to War)
Grapes and grape leaves symbolize a bountiful harvest and a celebration of life. Grape jewelry is also worn by some to represent the presence of Christ, since wine is believed to transform into or symbolize Christ’s blood.
Symbolism involving the grapevine dates back thousands of years, to the times of the ancient Greeks. In Greek mythology there was even a god of a vintage (Dionysus, known as Bacchus in the Roman tradition). Dionysus would carry around a grape vine or bunches of grapes whenever he was represented in paintings and images. Many festivals and banquets had wine toasts to Dionysus as a tradition, and Greek wine cups were often even decorated with wine and grapes as a tribute to the god.
The grapevine also frequently occurs as a symbol in Christianity and the New Testament. One parable told by Jesus likens the Kingdom of Heaven to a father engaging laborers within his vineyard. Jesus even uses the vine as a symbol of Himself, saying “I am the vine.” Because of this symbolism, many important Roman figures (after the Roman Empire had adopted Christianity) use the images of vines and grapes on their graves or in mosaics in which they are depicted. The grapevine makes frequent occurrences in the older scriptures as well, with the vine being the symbol of God’s chosen people, the children of Abraham.
In most of these situations, you can see that the use of a grapevine as a symbol that is tied into fertility and prosperity.
It is therefore appropriate that My Olive Tree helps to literally create more fertility in the desert by using grape vines, a symbol of fertility that stretches back to Israel’s early history.
We are proud to continue the ancient tradition of growing grapes in the region and to be bringing life back to the desert. Please contact us today for more information about how you can sponsor this incredible project.