Early in his career, Botticelli focused on religious elements, and even played a role in the painting of the Sistine Chapel. However, as the Renaissance progressed, the idea of Humanism became more popular. This philosophy "emphasized secular concerns as a result of the rediscovery and study of the literature, art, and civilization of ancient Greece and Rome"("humanism" 1). Neoplatonism, which came later, combined ideas from both religious and mythological stories. For example, many critics believe Botticelli's Venus in both Primavera and Birth of Venus represents Mary, because both are holy and represent purity. The birds and flowers represent new life, which in a Christian interpretation can be seen as a reference to Easter.
The blood-red of the flowers can represent the blood of Jesus or mythological Adonis.
Commissioned by a cousin of Lorenzo Medici, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco
Tempera on Panel(ca 1482)
Housed in the Uffizi in Florence
Botticelli,Sandro. Primavera. N.d. rutgers.edu. Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://fas-history.rutgers.edu/skelly/renaissancesyll.html>. Birth of Venus Venus coming out of the water can be interpreted as representing baptism, including Jesus'.
Commissioned by a member of the Medici Family (Probably Lorenzo de' Medici)
Tempera on Canvas(ca. 1483)
Housed in the Uffizi in Florence.
Botticelli, Sandro. Birth of Venus. 1445-1510. Uffizi, Florence. Virtual Uffizi. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.