Primavera – Botticelli

Primavera. Sandro Botticelli (1445 - 1510)

Primavera. Sandro Botticelli (1445 – 1510)

As you study Renaissance art, it helps to know some mythology. If you look to the far right of Primavera, you see a woman with flowers in her mouth being pursued by a man who’s flying above her. The man flying is the depiction of Zephyr, the first wind of Spring. The woman he’s lusting after is Chloris, a wood nymph. Once Chloris is caught she’s transformed into Flora, goddess of flowers. Botticelli depicts her as the female figure right next to Chrloris, the one who’s sprinkling rose petals onto the ground.

The woman in the middle of the painting is Venus. Interesting to note that if you study her looks, and then look at The Birth of Venus, you’ll notice a distinct similarity. The model for both paintings is rumored to be Simonetta Vespucci, an Italian noblewoman. Some critics have dismissed that claim, but yet the rumors persist . . .

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