‘ …Baucis saw Philemon put out leaves, and old Philemon saw Baucis put out leaves, and as the tops of the trees grew over their two faces, they exchanged words, while they still could, saying, in the same breath: “Farewell, O dear companion”, as, in the same breath, the bark covered them, concealing their mouths.’
Ovid’s epic 1st-century poem the Metamorphoses was inspired by the myths of Antiquity, in which humans are transformed into animals, vegetables, minerals. Greek mythology tells how Zeus and Hermes went on a journey. The wealthy inhabitants of the region they visited refused them hospitality, and only one elderly couple – poor but devout – took them in. Zeus laid waste to the country, but Philemon and Baucis (his hosts) were transformed into trees, and saved forever. With characteristic talent, Annie Faivre’s design freely interprets a number of myths : Pegasus is given butterfly wings, and the Gorgon Medusa is a many-tentacled sea-anemone.