Title

Botticelli’s Primavera: A Gateway Drug into the World of Pagan Imagery

Description/Abstract/Artist Statement

Sandro Botticelli's 1477-82 Primavera is a tempera on panel painting that depicts a garden encapsulating nine figures representing mythological Roman gods and goddesses and was originally in one of the Medici family's palaces. Scholars primarily focus on the roles and identities of the figures pictured within the painting, the painting's function as an illustration of poetry or as an allusion to the Roman calendar. This paper argues that Sandro Botticelli's Primavera ushered in spring and the acceptance of pagan imagery that was socially acceptable in a time of religious restraint. This thesis explores the contextual understanding of Primavera as an allegory for a woman's role in the Catholic sacrament of matrimony. By examining humanist influences, an understanding of the work's correlation to the Catholic Religion emerges. Botticelli's Primavera allowed the symbolic nature of gods and goddesses of antiquity to become an acceptable means of expression in the Catholic Religion. The opportunities allotted to this artist created the perfect situation to take the popular humanist text and influences of the past and combine them with the Catholic Religion, thus opening Pandora's box.

Presenting Author Name/s

Ashlee Webb

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Anne H. Muraoka

College Affiliation

College of Arts & Letters

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture

Session Title

Art History 1: The Art of Transformation

Location

Zoom

Start Date

3-19-2022 1:00 PM

End Date

3-19-2022 2:00 PM

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Mar 19th, 1:00 PM Mar 19th, 2:00 PM

Botticelli’s Primavera: A Gateway Drug into the World of Pagan Imagery

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Sandro Botticelli's 1477-82 Primavera is a tempera on panel painting that depicts a garden encapsulating nine figures representing mythological Roman gods and goddesses and was originally in one of the Medici family's palaces. Scholars primarily focus on the roles and identities of the figures pictured within the painting, the painting's function as an illustration of poetry or as an allusion to the Roman calendar. This paper argues that Sandro Botticelli's Primavera ushered in spring and the acceptance of pagan imagery that was socially acceptable in a time of religious restraint. This thesis explores the contextual understanding of Primavera as an allegory for a woman's role in the Catholic sacrament of matrimony. By examining humanist influences, an understanding of the work's correlation to the Catholic Religion emerges. Botticelli's Primavera allowed the symbolic nature of gods and goddesses of antiquity to become an acceptable means of expression in the Catholic Religion. The opportunities allotted to this artist created the perfect situation to take the popular humanist text and influences of the past and combine them with the Catholic Religion, thus opening Pandora's box.