波提且利 <春>中 花神(flora)的圖
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波提且利 Sandro Botticelli <春>Allegory of Spring
Botticelli. La Primavera (Allegory of Spring) (1477-1478, Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi)
The painting is a Neoplatonic allegory depicting the Soul’s ascension from the material to the spiritual world. The central figure is Venus embodying celestial (Platonic) Love. On the right, the nymph Chloris is pursued by Zephyr (this allusion to an episode from Ovid’ Fasti, Book 5, 195-212, “May 3”, symbolises the Soul’s enslavement by worldly passions), but manages to escape and is transformed into Goddess Flora portrayed as La Primavera (the Spring; the escape symbolizes liberation of the Soul and her reunion with the Divine). On the left, the three Graces are blessed by Venus; they are, from right to left, Pulchritudo (Beauty), Chastitas (Chastity), and Voluptas (Pleasure). Voluptas’ eyes are fixed on Pulchritudo, for Beauty is the true source of Pleasure. Eros above is aiming his arrow at Chastitas who has turned her back to the mundane world (and to us, the spectators) and is looking at Mercury who, as Hermes Trismegistos, is the embodiment of Wisdom in the Neoplatonic Tradition. Mercury is holding the caduceus, his magic staff held to symbolise secret Knowledge.
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