“Venus in Spring” is obo’s new look on the Art in Florence and the Uffizi Gallery. This design is a mix of Botticelli’s famous paintings Primavera and The Birth of Venus. The project is a limited edition of a hidden Venus in different textures and colours. Have you found her yet? 😉 Once you see her don’t lose her anymore. Enjoy!!
OUR INSPIRATION it’s a contemporary view on Renaissance
Primavera (Italian pronunciation: [primaˈveːra], meaning “Spring”), is a large panel painting in tempera paint by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli made in the late 1470s or early 1480s (datings vary). It has been described as “one of the most written about, and most controversial paintings in the world”, and also “one of the most popular paintings in Western art”.
The painting depicts a group of figures from classical mythology in a garden, but no story has been found that brings this particular group together. Most critics agree that the painting is an allegory based on the lush growth of Spring, but accounts of any precise meaning vary, though many involve the Renaissance Neoplatonism which then fascinated intellectual circles in Florence. The subject was first described as Primavera by the art historian Giorgio Vasari who saw it at Villa Castello, just outside Florence, by 1550.
Although the two are now known not to be a pair, the painting is inevitably discussed with Botticelli’s other very large mythological painting, The Birth of Venus, also in the Uffizi. They are among the most famous paintings in the world, and icons of the Italian Renaissance; of the two, the Birth is even better known than the Primavera. As depictions of subjects from classical mythology on a very large scale they were virtually unprecedented in Western art since classical antiquity.
The history of the painting is not certainly known; it may have been commissioned by one of the Medici family, but the certainty of its commission is unknown. It draws from a number of classical and Renaissance literary sources, including the works of the Ancient Roman poet Ovid and, less certainly, Lucretius, and may also allude to a poem by Poliziano, the Medici house poet who may have helped Botticelli devise the composition. Since 1919 the painting has been part of the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
Various interpretations of the figures have been set forth, but it is generally agreed that at least at one level the painting is “an elaborate mythological allegory of the burgeoning fertility of the world.”
The Birth of Venus (Italian: Nascita di Venere [ˈnaʃʃita di ˈvɛːnere]) is a painting by the Italian artist Sandro Botticelli, probably made in the mid 1480s. It depicts the goddess Venus arriving at the shore after her birth, when she had emerged from the sea fully-grown (called Venus Anadyomene and often depicted in art). The painting is in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
Although the two are not a pair, the painting is inevitably discussed with Botticelli’s other very large mythological painting, the Primavera, also in the Uffizi. They are among the most famous paintings in the world, and icons of the Italian Renaissance; of the two, the Birth is better known than the Primavera. As depictions of subjects from classical mythology on a very large scale they were virtually unprecedented in Western art since classical antiquity, as was the size and prominence of a nude female figure in the Birth. It used to be thought that they were both commissioned by the same member of the Medici family, but this is now uncertain.
Although there are ancient and modern texts that are relevant, no single text provides the precise imagery of the painting, which has led scholars to propose many sources and interpretations. Many art historians who specialize in the Italian Renaissance have found Neoplatonic interpretations, of which two different versions have been articulated by Edgar Wind and Ernst Gombrich, to be the key to understanding the painting. Botticelli represented the Neoplatonic idea of divine love in the form of a nude Venus.
For Plato – and so for the members of the Florentine Platonic Academy – Venus had two aspects: she was an earthly goddess who aroused humans to physical love or she was a heavenly goddess who inspired intellectual love in them. Plato further argued that contemplation of physical beauty allowed the mind to better understand spiritual beauty. So, looking at Venus, the most beautiful of goddesses, might at first raise a physical response in viewers which then lifted their minds towards the godly. A Neoplatonic reading of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus suggests that 15th-century viewers would have looked at the painting and felt their minds lifted to the realm of divine love.
“Of august gold-wreathed and beautiful Aphrodite I shall sing to whose domain belong the battlements of all sea-loved Cyprus where, blown by the moist breath of Zephyros, she was carried over the waves of the resounding sea on soft foam.The gold-filleted Horae happily welcomed her and clothed her with heavenly raiment.” Homeric Hymns, published in Florence in 1488 by the Greek refugee Demetrios Chalkokondyles
Charles R. Mack sees the scene as inspired by both the Homeric Hymn and the ancient paintings. But something more than a rediscovered Homeric hymn was likely in the mind of the Medici family member who commissioned this painting from Botticelli. Once again, Botticelli, in his version of the Birth of Venus, might be seen as completing the task begun by his ancient predecessor Apelles, even surpassing him. Giving added support to this interpretation of Botticelli as a born-again Apelles is the fact that that very claim was voiced in 1488 by Ugolino Verino in a poem entitled “On Giving Praise to the History of Florence.”
While Botticelli might well have been celebrated as a revivified Apelles, his Birth of Venus also testified to the special nature of Florence’s chief citizen, Lorenzo de’ Medici. Although it now seems that the painting was executed for another member of the Medici family, it likely was intended to celebrate and flatter its head, Lorenzo de’ Medici. Tradition associates the image of Venus in Botticelli’s painting with the famous beauty Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci, of whom popular legend claims both Lorenzo and his younger brother, Giuliano, were great admirers. Simonetta was possibly born in the Ligurian seaside town of Portovenere (‘the port of Venus’). Thus, in Botticelli’s interpretation, Pankaspe (the ancient living prototype of Simonetta), the mistress of Alexander the Great (the Laurentian predecessor), becomes the lovely model for the lost Venus executed by the famous Greek painter Apelles (reborn through the recreative talents of Botticelli), which ended up in Rome, installed by Emperor Augustus in the temple dedicated to Florence’s supposed founder Julius Caesar.
In the case of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, the suggested references to Lorenzo, supported by other internal indicators such as the stand of laurel bushes at the right, would have been just the sort of thing erudite Florentine humanists would have appreciated. Accordingly, by overt implication, Lorenzo becomes the new Alexander the Great with an implied link to both Augustus, the first Roman emperor, and even to Florence’s legendary founder, Caesar himself. Lorenzo, furthermore, is not only magnificent but, as was Alexander in Pliny’s story, also magnanimous, as well. Ultimately, these readings of the Birth of Venus flatter not only the Medici and Botticelli but all of Florence, home to the worthy successors to some of the greatest figures of antiquity, both in governance and in the arts.