The Christian theme is manifested here in that the main character resembles the Madonna, whose hand seems to bless everyone. The cult of the “beautiful lady”, the inspirer of poets, also pervades this heroine. These courteous moods flourished in the circle of Lorenzo the Magnificent. The painting was painted shortly after the death of the beloved brother of Lorenzo, Giuliano Medici, the beautiful Simonetta Vespucci.
The heyday of the painting by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) came at a time when he became close to the circle of humanists – poets, writers, philosophers, artists – at the Medici court. Lorenzo the Magnificent, ruler of Florence, wrote poetry and patronized the arts. For the villa of his cousin Lorenzo di Pierfranchesko Medici, this painting was commissioned with a complex philosophical and poetic content.
IN “Spring” reflected three inextricable directions in which the art and philosophy of the Florentine humanists developed: antique, Christian and courteous. From antiquity here are the characters and motives of myths. On the right, Zephyr, a warm west wind, abducts Chlorida, the Greek nymph of fields and flowers, which turns into Flora, pictured right here, already a Roman goddess, showering the earth with flowers. On the left side there are three graces, representing chastity, love and pleasure. Mercury, dispersing the clouds, standing under the canopy of orange trees, sends the viewer’s imagination to the myth of Paris and his choice of the most beautiful of the goddesses, to whom he, as a winner, gave an apple. This goddess, Aphrodite, or, as the ancient Romans called her, Venus, gently steps on a carpet of herbs and flowers in the center of the picture. Above her head is Cupid with a bow, aiming at one of the graces.
Description of the picture:
Spring – Sandro Botticelli. Around 1478. Wood, tempera. 203×314 Venus resembles her face. Giuliano himself resembles Mercury, in which Saint Sebastian, the Christian martyr, is also recognized.
This work, in which a variety of motives came together, marked an important turn to painting, which was not subject to any canons. In it was visible only the soul of the artist and his will. Russian art critic Pavel Muratov wrote about Botticelli: “He was the first to meet the morning fog of a new and long day in the history of the world under the single banner of pure art.”