Virgil & Fly by Raphael Balme (See the story below)
Limited Edition Print (taken from an original oil painting)
Signed and stamped on reverse.
Paper: 310gsm, archival quality, acid-free, aquarelle rag.
Print size: 59.5 cm x 42 cm (16.5 x 23.5")
Black with mount - framed size: 72 cm x 54 cm
Oak with mount - framed size: 72 cm x 54 cm
Deep wood - framed size: 71 cm x 53 cm
Read more about our Fine Art Trade Guild Printers & Framers here
The Shop Floor Project has commissioned British artist Raphael Balme to create a series of oil paintings which celebrate historical figures with their exotic pets and, in the case of Virginia Woolf, their alter egos.
Expertly reproduced by our printers who are members of the Fine Art Trade Guild, the collection includes; Frida Kahlo & Fawn, King John & Polar bear, Empress Josephine & Orangutan plus Mozart & Starling among others...
Virgil's Pet Housefly
The lavish funeral the Roman poet Virgil staged for his pet housefly sounds absurd, but is by all accounts factual. Held in the grounds of Virgil’s home on Rome’s Esquiline Hill, the funeral attracted the great and good of the city. Dirges were sung and tributes read. Virgil’s patron, Maecenas, delivered a lengthy and moving eulogy to the departed insect, and Virgil was himself said to have uttered a few of his exquisite verses over the tiny carcass. A tomb had been erected, and the lifeless body of the fly was placed within it to the wails and moans of the professional mourners. So lavish were the commemorations that the cost was estimated at over eight hundred thousand sesterces.
But the reason for the funeral was not due to extravagance, eccentricity, nor even emotion. Having defeated Julius Caesar’s assassins at the battle of Philippi, the Second Triumvirate was at that very moment engaged in confiscating the estates of the rich and dividing them among the war veterans returning from the battlefield. Only one exception was given: if the estate held a burial plot, it was not to be touched. By burying his housefly, Virgil saved his house.