- Venus and Mars (Botticelli)
"Venus and Mars" is a painting by the Italian
Renaissancemaster Sandro Botticelli, dating from c. 1483.
The painting deals with an amorous victory. A grove of
myrtletrees, the tree of Venus, forms the backdrop to the two gods who are lying opposite each other on a meadow. Venus is clothed and is attentively keeping watch over Mars as he sleeps. The god of war has taken off his armor and is lying naked on his red cloak; all he is wearing is a white loin cloth.
The goddess of love, who is clothed in a costly white and gold gown, is watching over the sleeping naked Mars, while little
satyrs are playing mischievously with the weapons and armor of the god of war. Botticelli's theme is that the power of love can defeat the warrior's strength. The boisterous little fauns that form part of the retinue of Bacchus, the god of wine, are depicted by Botticelli, in accordance with ancient tradition, with little goats' legs, horns and tails. The Triton's shell with which one of the fauns is blowing into Mars' ear was used in classical times as a hunting horn.
The overall layout of the composition is probably inspired by an ancient
sarcophagusnow in the Vatican Museum. [citation|last=Gombrich|first=Ernst|title=Botticelli’s Mythologies: A Study in the Neoplatonic Symbolism of His Circle|journal=Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes Vol. 8 Plate 13b|year=1945] Art from classical antiquity was a major source of inspiration for Renaissance painters. As paintings did not survive, they used relief sculptures and Ecphrasis, detailed textual descriptions of lost paintings made by classical authors. Relief sculptures tended towards dense figurative compositions in which the characters were all placed in the foreground picture plane, as with the composition of Venus and Mars.
The mischievous little
satyrs playing practical jokes nearby were probably suggested by an ecphrasis written by the Greek poet Luciandescribing the famous classical painting "Wedding of Alexander the Great to the Persian princess Roxane". In the passage, Lucian describes how "two are carrying his spear, as porters do a heavy beam ... another has got into the breast plate, which lies hollow part upwards; he is in ambush". Botticelli replaced the amoretti which Lucian describes playing with Alexander's weapons with little satyrs. His painting is one of the earliest examples in Renaissancepainting to depict these boisterous and lusty hybrids in this form. They are playing with the war god's helmet, lance and cuirass. One of them is cheekily blowing into his ear through a sea shell. But he has as little chance of disturbing the sleeping god as the wasps nest to the right of his head. The wasps may be a reference to the clients who commissioned the painting. They are part of the coat of arms of the Vespuccifamily, whose name derives from "vespa", Italian for wasp. The dimensions of the painting suggest that it formed part of a cassone, a chest with a painted panel at the back, found in the main bedroom of married couples.
Given that its theme is love, this painting was possibly also commissioned on the occasion of a wedding. In this way it should exemplify the theories of the philosopher
Marsilio Ficino, according to whom the exhortations to virtues are more welcomed if expressed through pleasant images. Ficino was the tutor of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de'Medici, cousin of the more famous Lorenzo de' Medici: a major patron of Botticelli, and part of a humanist circle including the Vespucci family. As such, he may well have contributed to the composition and the choice of source material in Botticelli's mythological paintings, including this one. In particular, Ficino had an astrological perspective, within which the goddess Venus was associated with the influence of the planet Venus on an individual's character, standing for the qualities of love and "humanitas" in Renaissance humanism. In his "Commentary on the Symposium: De Amore" of Plato, Ficino describes how "Mars stands foremost in strength for he makes men stronger. Yet Venus masters him ... in conjunction with him, in opposition to him ... often restrains his malignance ... Wherefore she seems to tame and placate Mars. "But Mars never masters Venus"." If this passage echoes views of Ficino's that influenced the composition of Botticelli's Venus and Mars, it would explain why the character of Venus is depicted as alert and watchfull, whilst that of Mars is in deep slumber, a feature not found in the sarcophagus relief sculpture that may have served as a model for the composition.
An alternative source for the image is the "Stanze" of
Poliziano. "Stanze" 122 describes how the hero found Venus "seated on the edge of her couch, just then released from the embrace of Mars, who lay on his back in her lap, still feeding his eyes on her face". Poliziano was in one of the humanist scholars in the court of Lorenzo de' Medici, and his "stanze" are a famous poem alluding to the prowess of Lorenzo's younger brother Giuliano di Piero de' Mediciin the jousting tournament Lorenzo had organized to celebrate a treatise with Venice. However, the description, with Mars in Venus' lap, gazing up at her, is a poor fit to the painting.
H.W. and F.G. Fowler "The Works of Lucian of Samosata", Oxford, 1905.
Marsilio Ficino, "Commentary on the Symposium: De Amore", from Oration V, chapter 8
Quint, David. (tr). (1993) "The Stanze of Angelo Poliziano" Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania Statue University Press.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
См. также в других словарях:
Venus and Mars (disambiguation) — Venus and Mars may refer to: *Venus and Mars, album by the Wings **Venus and Mars/Rock Show, sample from the above *Venus and Mars (Botticelli), painting by Botticelli *The Loves of Mars and Venus, ballet *Venus and Mars (sculpture), sculpture of … Wikipedia
Venus y Marte (Botticelli) — Venus y Marte (Venere e Marte) Sandro Botticelli, 1483 Temple y óleo sobre tabla • Renacimiento 69 cm × 173 cm National Gallery de Londres, Londres … Wikipedia Español
Vénus et Mars — (Botticelli) Artiste Sandro Botticelli Année Env. 1483 Technique Tempera sur bois Dimensions ( … Wikipédia en Français
Venus (Botticelli) — Venus is the subject of two paintings by the Italian master Sandro Botticelli:* The Birth of Venus * Venus and Mars … Wikipedia
Botticelli, Sandro — orig. Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi born 1445, Florence died May 7, 1510, Florence [Italy] Italian painter active in Florence. As a youth he may have been apprenticed to a goldsmith, and he later trained with Fra Filippo Lippi in Florence. By… … Universalium
Venus (mythology) — For other uses, see Venus (disambiguation). The Birth of Venus, by Sandro Botticelli c. 1485–1486 … Wikipedia
Botticelli, Sandro — (Alessandro di Moriano Filipepi; 1445 1510) Botticelli (little barrel) was a nickname first given to the artist s brother who was presumably overweight. Botticelli was trained in the studio of Fra Filippo Lippi alongside Lippi s son Filippino … Dictionary of Renaissance art
Botticelli — Sandro Botticelli Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mariano (homonymie). Sandro Botticelli Nom de naissance Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi Activité(s) Artiste peintre Naissance 1er … Wikipédia en Français
Venus — /vee neuhs/, n., pl. Venuses for 2. 1. an ancient Italian goddess of gardens and spring, identified by the Romans with Aphrodite as the goddess of love and beauty. 2. an exceptionally beautiful woman. 3. (sometimes l.c.) Archaeol. a statuette of… … Universalium
Mars — The mythological god of war, Mars is the son of Jupiter and Juno and his attributes are the helmet, shield, and spear or sword. His illicit affair with Venus was discovered by Vulcan, her consort. In retaliation, Mars punished Cupid for… … Dictionary of Renaissance art