The word “Hysteria” comes from the Greek word hysterika, meaning Uterus. Common medical beliefs in Ancient Greece, lasting through the Middle Ages, held that women’s emotional nature emanated from this organ, which was thought to roam freely throughout the body cavity. The “Wandering Womb” as it was known, was described as “an animal within an animal” merrily traveling around seeking harmonious fluids, its movements responsible for upheavals in a woman’s moods.
The Wandering Womb was the culprit of all female behaviors deemed unseemly, extrovert or ungovernable. These included anxiety, irritability, moodiness, insomnia, uncontrolled amusement and “sexually forward behavior” ~ heavens!
This painting imagines the little woman-inside-the-woman happily enjoying her journey, laughing with uncontrolled amusement at other’s judgements.
The Wandering Womb, aka The Wanderer, is 16″ x 20″ x 2″ oil on wood. It is available in my studio, contact me for information.