Painting (1478) by Sandro Botticelli entitled "Primavera," which means "Spring." National Museum, Naples, Italy.
Zephyr is at the far right of the painting. He is depicted pursuing the nymph Chloris. Zephyr's breath causes her to sprout flowers from her mouth. At the center is Venus. On the left of Venus are the Three Graces and on the far left of the painting is Mercury.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of Planet Art.
Zephyr was the Greek god of the west wind
, which was considered
the gentlest wind, especially if compared to the colder north wind, Boreas. The warm west wind brought the spring season
. Even today the name of the god means a warm and light breeze.
Zephyr was the father of two immortal horses, Xanthus and Balius. Their mother was the Harpy, Podarge. The Harpies were terrifying and greedy monsters with the head and trunk of a woman and the tail, wings, legs and talons of a huge bird.
Zephyr was attracted to
the Harpy Podarge while she was grazing beside the Ocean after having transformed herself into a splendid young female horse.
The gods gave the two horses, as a wedding present, to Peleus,
the father of the famous hero Achille. Xanthus and
Balius became the loyal companions of Achille helping him in numerous battles.
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