Legend has it that very long ago, the Three Wise Men, in search of the Christ child, lost their way. They came upon La Befana's house, and stopped to ask directions, inviting her to join them in their search. She invited them to stay, but declined to accompany them, being too busy with her housework.
The next day, after they departed, she had a change of heart, so she set out to look for the Wise Men and the Child. And to this day she wanders the earth, still searching, broom in hand, leaving presents and candy for all good children on the eve of Epiphany.
I love this old Italian tale (such vivid imagery) and of course, had to paint La Befana...
She's depicted here on a large wooden plate (14" in diameter), with a traditional Italian verse hand lettered around the edge...
La Befana vien di notte
Con le scarpe tutte rotte
Col vestito alla romana
Viva, Viva La Befana!
The English translation is
The Befana comes by night
With her shoes all tattered and torn
She comes dressed in the Roman way
Long life to the Befana!
Look for her in my Etsy shop later tonight! (There are also quite a few welcome signs in the shop too - great last minute, personalized gifts for hard-to-buy-for friends and family!)
Next up - arctic animals: "Bless All Creatures Great and Small"
Back very soon!