Califia, queen of California

Aug 2019

This papercut ​was inspired by the mythical namesake of my beloved home state. Califia, the Amazon queen of California reclines contemplatively in a knobbly old tree overlooking the Los Angeles skyline, crown in hand as she gazes into the distance. 

In the 16th-century Spanish epic that introduced the fictional queen and her paradisiacal island, California was a land of plenty where Amazon warriors in golden armor ruled atop the backs of griffins. When the Spaniards began mapping the area that is now California, they applied the name in expectation of finding riches and fantastical places, people, and creatures (and in the mistaken belief that it was an island). 

I based my depiction of LA's skyline here on the view from Elysian Park, near Dodgers Stadium in the hills of Northeastern LA. 

© 2020 by Tim Rotolo.

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