Saturday, October 15, 2005

Fascinating Art Theory about Botticelli's Primavera

From - Rome, October 14 - One of the most famous and most studied paintings of the Renaissance hides a carefully coded map of 15th-century Italian politics, it was claimed on Friday .
[But] Enrico Guidoni, a lecturer in art history at Rome's La Sapienza University, believes that although this may be true it is far from being the whole story .
Presenting his new book in Rome, he said it was crucial to remember who Botticelli was working for when he painted the picture. His employer was a cousin of Lorenzo de Medici, the powerful and art-loving ruler of Florence who has gone down in history as 'the Magnificent' .
The Primavera painting shows a secret strategy Lorenzo de Medici' had worked out to unite the major Italian city states in peaceful co-existence, Guidoni argued .
The nine figures represent important cities in 15th century Italy, he continued, listing what he said were linguistic links between the some of the characters portrayed and the cities they stood for .
The figure covered in flowers usually identified as Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, is Florence; the cupid representing love, or 'Amor' in Italian, is Rome; the falling girl on the right, named as Ver (Latin for spring), is Venice. Guidoni said the three women who formed a small group on the right, apparently representing the three graces of mythology, were three key maritime powers: Pisa, Naples and Genoa .
The military-looking figure on the far left was Milan, source of weapons and arms at the time; the serene, motherly figure in the centre was Mantua; and the cold-looking one on the extreme right, bearing down on 'Venice', was Bolzano .
Guidoni's deductions and interpretations are explained in a recently published book, which outlines Lorenzo de Medici's efforts in the 1480s to begin forging his alliances .

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