Primavera And The Birth Of Venus

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Chapter3. Neoplatonic Ideas in Primavera and The Birth Of Venus
There are a lot of interpretations and hypotheses about the subject-matter of Primavera and The Birth of Venus. The most preferred hypothesis is that both of the paintings are the reflection of the idea of Ficino, the leader of Florentine Neoplatonism movement. In Primavera and The Birth of Venus, many images of ancient goddesses are depicted. Botticelli 's usage of the ancient goddess figures are known as the feature of Italian Renaissance classic revival of art. The goddess in the paintings are derived from classical poetic themes, and two paintings share some images of goddesses. This is because there is a ‘literary sources relevant to Botticelli’s Primavera and The Birth of Venus’. In this chapter, I explore the mythical goddesses in Botticelli’s two paintings, and explain the Neoplatonic ideas behind the surface of the paintings.

3.1 Mythical goddesses in Primavera
Primavera was the first painting which adopted pagan goddesses as a subject-matter for the large scale religious art. It is considered that the painting was drawn in about 1477. The first person who described Primavera and The Birth of Venus was GiorgioVasari(1511-1574) who is famous for his art-historical writing, The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. In Lives, he wrote about Botticelli’s paintings:

‘In diverse houses throughout the city he did tondos in his own hand, and a number of female nudes as well; among
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