Get to know Botticelli's 'Primavera'

Get to know Botticelli's 'Primavera'

A Renaissance painting...?

Art History teacher Juliet Bailey asks in our new release of the week - Botticelli’s Primavera, an allegory of Spring, is THE archetypal Renaissance painting…right?' Think again. When we think of Renaissance paintings, we expect to find naturalistic figures and use of single-point perspective. However in Primavera, made in c.1480, what we find is a scene set in a shallow space with a host of figures that appear independent from one another. The figures, such as Venus in the centre, pose in an S shape, resembling the earlier style of the International Gothic. However, it is a painting about spring, i.e. rebirth, so you can get to decide whether it’s a Renaissance painting or not. WATCH NOW.

Detail of flowers in Botticelli's 'Primavera'

Did You Know?

There are at least 180 species of Tuscan flower that have been identified in the painting, each charged with symbolic significance. The majority of these cover the ground in a decorative array. The laurel trees are decorated with oranges, which help us to identify the patron of this painting - the Medici family, who ruled Florence at this time. With its symbols of love and fertility, this painting is believed to have been made to celebrate the marriage in the spring of 1482 of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici.

Oranges shown in Botticelli's 'Primavera'

STUDENTS TOP TIP!  Sandro Botticelli is one the artists featured in Edexcel’s Art History A Level unit Invention and illusion: the Renaissance in Italy (1420‒1520)

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