Vertumnus was the Roman god of seasons, change and plant growth, as well as gardens and fruit trees.

Festivals: Vertumnalia

Vertumnus and Pomona, painting by Peter Paul Rubens, c. 1618.

Vertumnus and Pomona

According to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, he tricked Pomona into talking to him by disguising himself as an old woman and gaining entry to her orchard, then using a narrative warning of the dangers of rejecting a suitor (the embedded tale of Iphis and Anaxarete) to seduce her. The tale of Vertumnus and Pomona has been called “the first exclusively Latin tale.”

A rococo Vertumne et Pomone, by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, 1760.
Rudolf II as Vertumnus, painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, c. 1590.

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