La Primavera: Mark of Botticelli's Work in the Renaissance

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
La Primavera is considered one of the greatest works of Sandro Boticelli and one with greatest significance in the new age, the Renaissance.

Submitted: June 20, 2011

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Submitted: June 20, 2011

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06 March 2011
La Primavera: Mark of Botticelli’s Work in the Renaissance
The Renaissance meant breaking free from the beliefs and structures established in the Middle Ages and creating a new society. It was indeed a rebirth (in French, renaissance) for the society; the rebirth to the “appreciation for the ideals presented in the classical literature of the ancient Greeks and Romans (Obstfeld 13). That was the period when “Renaissance scholars and artists embraced two ancient ideals as the foundation for the Renaissance: the belief that people could control their own destinies, and the belief that the sensual pleasures of life should be celebrated rather than denied. Both concepts were contrary to the teachings of the church and so were a radical departure in this new age” (Obstfeld 15). The beginning of a new age could be seen in all areas through science, philosophy and the arts.
With the creation of a merchant class, represented by bankers and traders who became wealthy after the Black Death swept through Europe, artists were not only commissioned by the church and the state to create religious pieces of work. They were now commissioned by those wealthy individuals to create art based on different subject matters, using different techniques. One of those artists was Sandro Botticelli (1447 – 1510).
Born in Florence, Italy, Botticelli was the son of a tanner. In 1460 he began training with Fra Filippo Lippi (c. 1406–1469), one of the greatest painters of the Renaissance. Botticelli's first works followed the current version of the popular style in Florence, the center of Renaissance art and architecture. This style placed great importance on the human figure rather than on space. In Botticelli's works, such as La Primavera, the people are shown as melancholy and thoughtful (World Biography).
La Primavera, “Botticelli’s famous painting of spring, presents an image of love as a divine, life-giving force. Venus, modestly inclining her head, stands in the middle of an orange grove, through which Flora strides, casting blossoms on to the earth. She has recently been transformed from the virginal nymph Chloris, who is clasped by Zephyr, the god of the West Wind, on the right. It is as if we are seeing the unfold of spring, which continues on the left, as Mercury, a god associated astrologically with May, chases away the last clouds with his wand, or caduceus. Meanwhile, one of the Three Graces looks at him longingly, while Cupid fires at her from above” (Masters 131). This painting alone is the object of many interpretations and still today scholars are not sure of all the underlying meanings the paint may hide. Nobody is completely sure of Botticelli’s intentions or the goal of the characters in the painting.
After inventory records were found from the 1400’s, it seems that the picture was made for Lorenzo the Magnificent, the most important man in Florence, as a wedding gift to his cousin, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici.
Still with a lot of questions in the air, La Primavera is considered one of the greatest works of Sandro Boticelli and one with greatest significance in the new age, the Renaissance.


 



Works Cited
Masters, Christopher. Renaissance. New York: Merrel, 2009. Print.
Obstfeld, Raymond, et al., eds. The Renaissance. California: Greenhaven, 2002. Print. History Firsthand.
 “Sandro Botticelli.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Library of Congress, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2011. < http://www.notablebiographies.com/Be-Br/Botticelli-Sandro.html>
 


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