Venus and Mars by Sandro Botticelli

Venus and Mars by Sandro Botticelli

In the presented picture Venus. the ancient goddess of love, is depicted in a half-lying position, with her right hand resting on the pillow. She looks attentively at the god of war that lies opposite her. The scene takes place in the myrtle grotto.

Mars is immersed in a deep sleep, which can not interrupt playing around the faun, the most jovial characters of the canvas, depicted according to ancient tradition horned, goat-legged and tailed. They entertain themselves with God’s weapon: one blows Mars directly into the ear in the sink, another slams his huge helmet over his head, the third, crawling

out from under the hand of God, has adapted his breastplate. In a word, Mars is disarmed.

It is obvious that the picture has an allegorical meaning, like everything connected with ancient mythology. Its main idea – love wins war or love conquers all. This general concept goes back to the ideas of the Italian humanist Marsilio Ficino, who, in particular, argued that Mars stands out among the planets, for it makes people stronger, but Venus dominates it. Often, in conjunction with Mars or in opposition to it, it does not give bad qualities and humbles it. Mars never rules over Venus.

In addition to the main idea, much of the work can be explained in a symbolic way. For example, a swarm of wasps swirls around Mars. The fact is that the picture was written by the order of one of the members of the family Vespucci, and the wasps reflected the play of words: Vespuchi – Vespa.

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