La Primavera, Plato, Alchemy, Love, Flora and Venus in a garden grove with a flowery mead

La Primavera (‘Spring’) was painted by Sandro Botticelli c1482 and is one of the world’s most popular paintings. It shows a playful group of young maidens, two males and one putti. They are in a garden grove of orange trees with a flowery mead beneath their feet. The charming scene is interpreted as an allegory of Neoplatonic and Alchemical love, according to the philosophy of Marsilio Ficino. Venus is the central figure, as she is in many garden scenes. The Zephyr on the on the right tries to rape Chloris but then transforms her into Flora (the goddess of flowers). Alchemists believed one must go through difficult times in the progress of the soul towards perfection, as base metals must go through fire to become gold. The garden represents the physical world and the painting was partly inspired by Ovid’s description of the arrival of Spring

3 thoughts on “La Primavera, Plato, Alchemy, Love, Flora and Venus in a garden grove with a flowery mead

  1. Christine

    Yes, the arrival of Spring.

    Should we compose a lamentation for the loss of an allegorical view of life and the world? Or is it just a matter of knowing where to look?
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    In which case celebratory verse may be more appropriate?
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  2. Tom Turner Post author

    Yes, dance is another good use for urban space. There should be public spaces which can be booked, without the need for payment (and probably with a ban on the performers charging the public).

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  3. Christine

    I agree. “There should be public spaces which can be booked, without the need for payment (and probably with a ban on the performers charging the public).”

    Public space is essential for civic life. True, public space by nature is for the public and so not commercial space. [ http://www.sculpturebythesea.com/exhibitions/bondi.aspx ].

    So, in this way the distinction needs to be made between temporary and permanent uses of the space by the public (for public art and performances etc). [ http://nnpaf.org/what_is_art.html ]

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