Artista Eli – The Dove of Love – 2015 – Acrylic on Canvas – 40 x 40 cm

The Dove of Love is a symbol of forgiveness and new beginnings. I painted it to represent how we cannot move on if we hold onto past problems, rather than moving on to make a better life for ourselves. Forgiving ourselves is just as important as forgiving other people. What is done is done and we can’t do anything about it. The origin of the dove with an olive branch comes from ancient times. It started in 5 BC when the olive tree represented the idea of “plenty” and the Greeks though the tree drove away evil spirits. The Olive branch was one of the attributes of Eirene, the Greek Goddess of Peace (known as Pax by the Romans) and at this time artists started incorporating the symbol into their art and designs. Later the Christians started to incorporate the Olive branch with the dove in their art as a symbol of baptism and the washing away of sins and of course it was in the book of Genesis and the story of the Covenant of the Rainbow, where it symbolised peace and hope in the aftermath of the great flood. In the 19th century, the Quakers also used this symbol and more recently it was made popular again in the drawings and paintings of Picasso, after Picasso’s father allegedly said “I stand for life against death; I stand for peace against war.”