Coming into this great Court of the Universe one hopes that truth, honor, justice and wisdom will be maintained.
The Floral Side of the Court of the Universe
This court will show a succession of beautiful bloom throughout the year. The daffodils will have their golden season, the rhododendrons their brilliant sheet of color, and in May the columns will support our various climbing roses, exhaling their perfume for all who come to this Land of Flowers.
Summer flowering annuals will follow and later the autumnal flowers.
Read the quotation on the aisle side of the Arch of the Rising Sun:
“The balmy air diffuses health and fragrance,
So tempered is the genial glow that we know neither heat nor cold.
Tulips and Hyacinths abound.
Fostered by a delicious clime, the earth blooms like a garden.”
(Annals of Kai-Kaus, in James Atkinson’s translation of Shah Nameh.)
So, while thinking of a Persian garden in the quotation, we feel the applicability of these words to the California gardens.
The Festival Side of the Court of the Universe
There is still another side to realize in this meaningful court. The exposition is a great festival, a triumphal festival, and you meet the suggestions of it all around you.
This great court is entered on three sides by Triumphal Arches.
The Triumphal Arch of the Occident,
The Triumphal Arch of the Orient,
The Triumphal Arch of the Tower of Jewels.
The prototype of the triumphal arch is seen in many places, most satisfactorily today in Rome.
The Arch of Constantine is the best model for us to examine, for it has three openings — even if the shape of the side opening is not the same as that of the arches before us.
The great court is hung with festoons (on the frieze) and decorated with the vine and its grapes (on the architrave).
The bulls’ heads with festoons are represented on the frieze as they once were on the altars of old when the festival, “The Feast of the Sacrifice,” was celebrated. (Refer to the same subject in The Court of the Four Seasons.)
In stately procession around the sunken garden are seen the Canephori bringing their jars of nectar.
The Canephori in old Greek days were the maidens who formed part of the great processions, such an one as the Panethenaea, carrying on their heads baskets which held the consecrated temple furniture, to be deposited at the end of the long march in the temple.
Here the sculptor has taken the license of representing men with the maidens, and instead of baskets has used vases.
This idea of the festival is strongly accented at night when you are transported to old Greek and Roman days.
Follow after this procession and you will notice that Paul Manship’s “Joy of Living,” or “Motion,” as it is also called, has entered. The joyous girls in perfect abandon are coming to join the happy throng. They bring their offerings in the shape of great wild-rose festoons, well suited to the “Wild Roses” who carry them.