sandro botticelli and other renaissance painters mined the ancient world for new subjects such as

Sandro botticelli and other renaissance painters mined the ancient world for new subjects such as

Venus stands at the centre of the painting. The space between the branches of trees surrounding her head forms the shape of a halo. Her graceful pose and chaste clothes are rather more reminiscent of the Virgin Mary than of a goddess of sensual love. Classical antiquity ascribed two roles to Venus. On the one hand, certainly, she was the light-hearted, adulterous goddess, accompanied by her son Cupid, “who (painted near the Graces in this picture), blindly excited passion with his burning arrows. On the other, she was all harmony, proportion, balance. A civilizing influnce, she settled quarrels, eased social cohesion. She was the incarnation of eroticism – a creative rather than destructive force.
The vision of a Venus humanitas informed the ideal of womanhood in 15th-century Italy. In his treatise Il Libro del Cortegiano Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529) wrote: “It is surely beyond dispute that there could be no contentment in a life without “women. Without them, life would be rough, lacking in tenderness, worse than the life of wild beasts. Can there be anybody who disputes this? Women drive from our hearts all evil, all baseness, all worry, misery, sadness. They inspire our minds to great things, rather than distracting us . ”
It goes without saying that Botticelli clothed his Venus in the robes of a married woman: she wears a bonnet and, draped over it, a veil. Hair was considered the weapon of the seductress; only young girls were permitted to let their hair hang loose.
The figures of the three Graces allow the artist to display the elaborate artistry with which the women of his time arranged their hair. To make their hair seem fuller, women would often use silk bands, false plaits and
other hairpieces. The most fashionable colour was a delicately tinted blonde, the product of strenuous bleaching and dyeing.
Under her dress and shawl, Venus wears a long chemise, of which the arms alone are visible. This was quite usual for a lady of Florence. However, it was unusual for a married woman to reveal her feet, or drape her shawl or cloak with such evident disregard for symmetry. Mercury’s toga, too, is deliberately asymmetrical. This was thought to be in the antique manner, and Florentines would have considered it a token of Classical mythology.
What was utterly contemporary, and utterly 15th century, however, was the ideal of beauty shown in Botticelli’s paintings: eyebrows drawn as gentle curves rather than a double arch, foreheads no longer high and shaved, as they had been during the Middle Ages, but linear and Greek and twice as broad as long. A rounded, slightly protruberant belly was now considered graceful. The beauty of the hand was accentuated by exhibiting it against the background of a dress or shawl – as does Venus in the painting.
While in Rome to assess the qualities of a potential bride for her son, Lorenzo the Magnificent’s mother, Lucrezia, mentions two characteristics that were highly treasured at the time: “She is tall and has a white skin.” Almost all of Botticelli’s women are large, indeed slightly elongated, if not unnaturally tall. And as for white skin, even country girls are said to have gone to some length in order to procure the ideal pallor, using tinctures, pastry packs, cosmetic pastes, and avoiding sunlight. If the three Graces dancing in the shadows in the present painting seem almost carved from alabaster, this cannot solely be attributed to idiosyncracy of style on the artist’s part, for their appearance is fully in keeping with contemporary notions of beauty.
The Florentine ideal of womanhood demanded not only beauty, but education. In wealthier families, women were taught the Classical subjects alongside their brothers; they were expected to hold their own in a discussion, and to please their husbands with intelligent conversation. Besides this, a woman had to know how to run a household, an ability which the practically-minded Florentines held in high esteem. She had to be thrifty, keep a clean house and give sound direction to the servants. Only the cash-books were out of bounds.

Botticelli’s Primavera
is an allegory on the
harmony of nature
and humankind and
contains many mythical
figures, including Venus
(the link between
nature and civilization)
and Mercury. At the
extreme right of the
painting, the figure of
Zephyr (the west wind
of spring) is seen chasing
Chloris, who is then
transformed into Flora,
the goddess of flowers.
A blindfolded Cupid
shoots his arrows
at the Three Graces
(the handmaidens of Venus)
who were believed
to represent the three
phases of love:
beauty, desire, and
fulfillment. This
illustration shows a
woodcut of Cupid, who
was one of the most
popular figures in
Renaissance art.

Sandro botticelli and other renaissance painters mined the ancient world for new subjects such as
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Week 1 Discussion.docx

Sandro botticelli and other renaissance painters mined the ancient world for new subjects such as

Venus stands at the centre of the painting. The space between the branches of trees surrounding her head forms the shape of a halo. Her graceful pose and chaste clothes are rather more reminiscent of the Virgin Mary than of a goddess of sensual love. Classical antiquity ascribed two roles to Venus. On the one hand, certainly, she was the light-hearted, adulterous goddess, accompanied by her son Cupid, “who (painted near the Graces in this picture), blindly excited passion with his burning arrows. On the other, she was all harmony, proportion, balance. A civilizing influnce, she settled quarrels, eased social cohesion. She was the incarnation of eroticism – a creative rather than destructive force.
The vision of a Venus humanitas informed the ideal of womanhood in 15th-century Italy. In his treatise Il Libro del Cortegiano Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529) wrote: “It is surely beyond dispute that there could be no contentment in a life without “women. Without them, life would be rough, lacking in tenderness, worse than the life of wild beasts. Can there be anybody who disputes this? Women drive from our hearts all evil, all baseness, all worry, misery, sadness. They inspire our minds to great things, rather than distracting us . ”
It goes without saying that Botticelli clothed his Venus in the robes of a married woman: she wears a bonnet and, draped over it, a veil. Hair was considered the weapon of the seductress; only young girls were permitted to let their hair hang loose.
The figures of the three Graces allow the artist to display the elaborate artistry with which the women of his time arranged their hair. To make their hair seem fuller, women would often use silk bands, false plaits and
other hairpieces. The most fashionable colour was a delicately tinted blonde, the product of strenuous bleaching and dyeing.
Under her dress and shawl, Venus wears a long chemise, of which the arms alone are visible. This was quite usual for a lady of Florence. However, it was unusual for a married woman to reveal her feet, or drape her shawl or cloak with such evident disregard for symmetry. Mercury’s toga, too, is deliberately asymmetrical. This was thought to be in the antique manner, and Florentines would have considered it a token of Classical mythology.
What was utterly contemporary, and utterly 15th century, however, was the ideal of beauty shown in Botticelli’s paintings: eyebrows drawn as gentle curves rather than a double arch, foreheads no longer high and shaved, as they had been during the Middle Ages, but linear and Greek and twice as broad as long. A rounded, slightly protruberant belly was now considered graceful. The beauty of the hand was accentuated by exhibiting it against the background of a dress or shawl – as does Venus in the painting.
While in Rome to assess the qualities of a potential bride for her son, Lorenzo the Magnificent’s mother, Lucrezia, mentions two characteristics that were highly treasured at the time: “She is tall and has a white skin.” Almost all of Botticelli’s women are large, indeed slightly elongated, if not unnaturally tall. And as for white skin, even country girls are said to have gone to some length in order to procure the ideal pallor, using tinctures, pastry packs, cosmetic pastes, and avoiding sunlight. If the three Graces dancing in the shadows in the present painting seem almost carved from alabaster, this cannot solely be attributed to idiosyncracy of style on the artist’s part, for their appearance is fully in keeping with contemporary notions of beauty.
The Florentine ideal of womanhood demanded not only beauty, but education. In wealthier families, women were taught the Classical subjects alongside their brothers; they were expected to hold their own in a discussion, and to please their husbands with intelligent conversation. Besides this, a woman had to know how to run a household, an ability which the practically-minded Florentines held in high esteem. She had to be thrifty, keep a clean house and give sound direction to the servants. Only the cash-books were out of bounds.

Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern
Final Exam Part 2

In addition to Michelangelo, leading Mannerist artists included Rosso Fiorentino, Pontormo, and Parmigianino. By the late 16th century, there were several anti-Mannerist attempts to reinvigorate art with greater naturalism and emotionalism. These developed into the Baroque style, which dominated the 17th century.
Arts and Crafts: Britain, Late 19th Century
The Arts and Crafts Movement was a celebration of individual design and craftsmanship, developing as a reaction against transformation of Britain due to the industrial revolution. William Morris, who spearheaded the movement, is particularly remembered as a book designer. He also produced stained glass, textiles and wallpaper, in addition to being a painter and writer. The movement was closely tied to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, among others, produced designs for Morris’ company.

Sandro botticelli and other renaissance painters mined the ancient world for new subjects such as
Da Vinci died at Clos Lucé on May 2, 1519. He left his money, paintings, tools, library, and personal effects to his long-time best friend Francesco Melzi, and his vinyards to his servant Salai. Da Vinci was buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert in Château d’Amboise, in France.
“Raphael The Complete Works.” Raphael Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.

References:

http://www.coursehero.com/file/p5oc3r9k/of-Johns-continental-territories-thus-immeasurably-strengthening-the-power-of/
http://ndrw.me/sandro-botticelli-and-other-renaissance-painters-mined-the-ancient-world-for-new-subjects-such-as/
http://jackiewhiting.net/ArtHist/Movements.htm
http://www.personal.psu.edu/aol5232/art002-7.html
http://news.artnet.com/art-world/renaissance-master-sandro-botticelli-835226

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