Sheryl Humphrey
"Melusina," © 1998, oil on linen, 80x36 inches
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WHO WAS MELUSINA? "A fairy occurring in legends, sometimes in the form of a siren. Jean d'Arras dealt specifically with this fabulous being in La Noble Hystoire de Luzignen (1393). When a great disaster was about to befall she would give voice to a scream thrice repeated. 'Melusina it was who caused mysterious buildings to be set up in a single night by swarms of workers who would disappear without trace once the work had been completed. When she marries, all her children have some physical abnormality; in the same way, her magic buildings all have some defect, like those bridges of the devil which always have one stone missing.' (Henri Dontenville, La Mythologie Française, 1948.) Melusina seems to be the archetype of intuitive genius, in so far as intuition is prophetic, constructive and wondrous, and yet at the same time is infirm and malign." -- from J. E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols, Barnes & Noble edition, 1995