Botticelli’s Primavera and the Birth of Venus
I’ve just left the Uffizi, the highlight for me, especially after having commissioned so many Botticelli art reproductions for people was standing in front of the monumental paintings of Botticelli’s Primavera (Spring) and The Birth of Venus.
The Primavera (c.1482) was painted for the Medici family and measures a staggering 203 cm x 314 cm.
The Primavera must be read from right to left. So we start with Zephyrus, the light spring wind who pursues the nymph Chloris, and having catches her, endows her with the power of being able to germinate flowers. The ability transforms the nymph into Flora, the Roman goddess of Spring and flowers. Flora is the embodiment of nature and her dress is covered with the floral symbols of her role.
In the centre is Venus and above her a blindfolded cupid is shown pointing an arrow at the three graces who are dancing and celebrating spring whilst Mercury banishes the clouds from the garden. There are many other interpretations of this painting, but as I remember from my art history days, this is the most widely accepted theory.
Botticelli’s Birth of Venus
The Birth of Venus (c.1484) another big painting measuring 184.5 x 285.5 centres on the theme of Love.
Propelled over the waves on a floating shell by Zephyrus again (god of wind), this time joined by Aura. Venus lands ashore and is handed a flowered cloak by a young girl. Classical texts such as Homer’s Hymn to Venus and Ovid’s love poetry were the likely literary references.
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Bye for now x