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Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Great Art Explained: Sandro Botticelli

Credit: Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus (c. 1484–1486). tempera on canvas; via Wikipedia

Botticelli's Birth of Venus

One of the most popular and revolutionary paintings in the Western world. It aroused many debates and commentaries on what exactly is the meaning of it. Of course, on the surface, it is easy to discern the personages from the Greek Mythology – Zephyr, Aphrodite (Venus), Chloe (Flora), and the Horae of spring (or summer). Yet, what are their function here; what is the meaning of their gathering on the canvas of Botticelli; is there something more? The picture is not exactly a representation of an exact moment drawn from the imagination of ancient Greek mythology. It is rather second-level mythology (in Roland Bart's sense), created by Botticelli himself. Botticelli was deeply influenced by both Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola, the Florentine champions of the Humanism, Gnostic and Neo-platonic philosophies, which thrived in the Medici's court. In that regard, his pieces were an Early form of Renaissance art and many symbols and philosophical concepts were embedded in them.


Below you can enjoy a video with one of the possible explanations of that mesmerizing and mystic painting.

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The genius of the Florentine Early Renaissance

Image Credit: Probable self-portrait of Botticelli, in his Adoration of the Magi (1475) via Wikipedia

Sandro Botticelli

Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi (c. 1445 – May 17, 1510), who is widely known as Sandro Botticelli, was an Early Renaissance Italian painter. He was part of the Medici's court artistic group and was highly regarded among his contemporaries but later his work was forgotten until the 19th century. The Pre-Raphaelites rediscovered him and since then his pictures are praised as some of the most important forerunners of the High Renaissance. As opposed to the voluminous, sculpture-like style of latter artists like Michelangelo or Raphael, he put the accent on the linear grace of the personages represented.


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