In the Algarve there are a lot of legends. Most of them from the time of the Moorish occupation.
One legend is still alive: Floripes, legend of Olhão. Floripes was a beautiful Moorish woman who was left behind when the Moorish were expelled from the Algarve. Also her fiance fled away without taking her with him. But he came back to pick her up. Unfortunately his boat cracked on a rock and he drowned. From that time Floripes was enchanted.
Inhabitants of Olhão can still tell the story and some of them even still believe in the legend.
You can read the whole story (in Dutch) on a website named Portugal Portal: https://www.portugalportal.nl/floripes/ Here you will find also a link to a film from 2006 about the legend of Floripes (in Portuguese).
It was a brain breaker to me deciding how to paint this legend. The sky and the sea were the easy parts and just the décor of what the story tells.
More than 2 months this story was in my head. Made some prestudies of it, but couldn’t get it to a whole. Finally I decided to paint Floripes in a glass box because of the belief (or is it fear?) of the fishermen, from which they can’t free themselves: the anxiety to die on the sea. But also Floripes herself is captured in her enchanted state. She also can’t free herself of the curse.
I hope you will enjoy this painting and the legend of fear and hope. Thea Booijink
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