The painting “Spring”, Sandro Botticelli – overview
- Posted by Sandro Botticelli
- Museum: Uffizi Gallery
- Year: Around 1478
Overview of the painting :
Spring – Sandro Botticelli. Wood, tempera. 203 x 314 cm
The heyday of painting Sandro Botticelli fell on at a time when he became close to a circle of humanists – poets, writers, philosophers, artists – at the court of the Medici. Lorenzo the Magnificent, ruler of Florence, wrote poetry and patronized the arts. For the villa of his cousin Lorenzo di Pierfrancoe Medici, this picture was ordered with complex philosophical and poetic content.
Three inextricable areas were reflected in Vesna, in which the art and philosophy of Florentine humanists developed: ancient, Christian and ritualistic. From antiquity here are characters and motives of myths. On the right, Zephyr, the warm western wind, abducts Chlorida, the Greek nymph of fields and flowers, which turns into Flora immediately depicted – already a Roman goddess who show off the earth with flowers. On the left side are three graces that personify chastity, love and pleasure. Mercury, driving the clouds, standing under the canopy of orange trees, sends the viewer’s imagination to the myth of Paris and its choice of the most beautiful goddesses, to which he gave the apple as a winner. This goddess, Aphrodite, or, as it was called by the ancient Romans, Venus, gently steps along the carpet of herbs and flowers in the center of the picture. Above her head is Cupid with onions, aiming at one of the graces.
The Christian theme is manifested here in the fact that the main character resembles Madonna, whose hand seems to bless everyone. In this heroine, the cult of the “beautiful lady”, the inspirer of poets, also takes off. These ritualistic moods flourished in the circle of Lorenzo the Magnificent. The painting was written shortly after the beloved brother of Lorenzo, Giuliano Medici, the beautiful Simonetta Vespucci, died. Venus resembles her face. Mercury itself is like Giuliano, in which St. Sebastian, a Christian martyr, also recognizes.
This work, in which a variety of motives came together, marked an important turn to painting, not subordinate to any canons. Only the artist’s soul and his will were already visible in it. Russian art critic Pavel Muratov wrote about Botticelli: “He was the first to meet the morning fog of a new and long day in the history of the world under the only banner of pure art.”.