La Filatrice


The Filatrice, Lombard school, 17th century, oil on canvas measures 82×67 cm.

The Filatrice could also be one of the Parche or Moire or goddesses of destiny in Greek mythology. In Homer the Moira is one, but already in Hesiod are three: Clot, the ‘spinner’ of life; Laches, the ‘fixator of fate’ touching man; Atrophy, the ‘unmovable’ death of death. They are Daughters of Zeus and Themes; according to another genealogy are daughters of the Night. They preside over the three culminating moments of human life: birth, marriage, death. Moire’s inescapable blindness is like a force that curbs the power of gods, an expression of the fixity of physical and moral laws, as appears in Aeschylus, especially in Orestea, and even in Sophocles. Subsequently, the Greeks conceived fate as placable by means of the atonement, especially with the spread of mysterious religions and with orphism. Moire had worship anywhere. They resemble the Chere without becoming, like those, violent and bloody demons. In Rome they were called Parche.

The Moirs were already depicted in archaic times on the famous Cappel’s Ark; appear in the crater François, but in number four and without attribute, as well as various generic representations on ceramics from 6th to 4th centuries. B.C. In the neo-static puteal of Madrid and in the copy of Tegel’s plate appear in classical figures. They take part in the gigantomachia in the frieze of the Pergamano and appear in different scenes on the Roman sarcophagi.