Friday, August 10, 2012

Acorn as a Symbol

I had never spent much time thinking about the acorn and its symbolic meaning, but acorns are found all over decorative art objects and are even used in contemporary work. 

Williams-Sonoma Acorn Cakelet Pan

Acorn Shutters via Timberlane Co

The Roman god Jupiter's sacred tree was the oak, acorns are oak seedlings. Jupiter was a powerful god, therefore that power was transferred to oak trees and acorns. 

Napoleon used acorn imagery on his furnishings to subtly illustrate his power. Just as Louis XIV used imagery of Apollo to prove his legitimacy to the French throne, Napoleon used mythological symbolism to prove his rightful claim to the French throne. 

Here's Napoleon's purple robe which he wore for his wedding to his second wife Marie-Louise in 1810.
You can't see it very well in this picture (all other examples I found in my textbooks weren't online), but oak leaves are embroidered on this robe. 

When you think of the English saying "strong as oak," remember that they're referring to ancient Rome and Jupiter. 

- Grace

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