Monday, March 21, 2016

Allegory of Spring - La Primavera


One of the loveliest expressions of springtime is the early Renaissance painting La Primavera (aka. Allegory of Spring) meaning literally "first green" by Italian painter Sandro Botticelli. It is believed he painted it in 1482. The painting hangs in the Uffizi Galley in Florence, Italy, and is a prized Italian national treasure.

Botticelli self-portrait at age thirty in 1475,
Botticelli took his inspiration from the classical writing of the Roman Ovid and his description of spring. The central figure is Venus. To the right of the painting, the blue and chilly Zephyrus catches Flora and impregnates her and she morphs into a fertility figure. To the left, the Three Graces--Charm, Beauty, and Joy--dance as Mercury holds the clouds back from Venus' realm. A blindfolded Cupid seems up to mischief. That's what I see anyway.

For a more detailed analysis of the painting, check out this short link: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/renaissance-reformation/early-renaissance1/painting-in-florence/v/botticelli-la-primavera-spring-1481-1482