"Parsifal and the Flower Maidens"
From Act 2 of my favorite opera, Parsifal, Wagner's last. Parsifal, the Compassionate Fool, is searching for the Holy Spear and he gets to Klingsor's Magic Garden. He's tempted by the Flower Maidens who sing and dance circles around him to attempt to seduce him and make him fail in his mission to recover the Spear, heal the wound from it suffered by Amfortas, and restore the Holy Grail. Parsifal resists, only to have the seductress Kundry appear on a bed of flowers in her attempt to seduce and ruin him. Parsifal resists, recovers the Spear, and in Act 3 he heals Amfortas' wound, he's released to die, as is Kundry, and Parsifal becomes King of the Grail. The subject appealed to me on many levels, not the least the opportunity to go wild with emptying my palette of all the color I could conjure with the flower garden which was pretty much of a composite of every flower I had painted until then, including the Tulip Tree between Kundry and Klingsor's castle. Also the undulating rythmns of the Flower Maidens in their brightly colored, diaphanous gowns as they dance around Parsifal.
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