Under the Guise of Spring : The Message Hidden in Botticelli's Primavera by Eugene Lane-Spollen Read book IBOOKS, DOCX, AZW

9780856832963
English

0856832960
A chance discovery provided the author with the key to unlocking the centuries old enigma of Botticelli's "Primavera" - the famous Renaissance masterpiece painted for the private viewing of a Medici. Its pagan figures in a paradisical spring meadow illuminated the cryptic world of the Renaissance pagan revival. Botticelli's allegory emerged to address its personal message directly to a young Medici, one of the known world's richest young men. Botticelli's cleverly disguised message for Lorenzo Minore, is to be found on the right side of "La Primavera," where Chloris draws Zephyr's attention to it. This book is extremely well researched and beautifully produced with eighty color plates, a full pullout reproduction of "La Primavera" and numerous details from this and other Renaissance paintings. Lane-Spollen clearly explains the fusion of Christian and pagan imagery which is reflected in "La Primavera," placing it in the wider context of the history, religion and politics of the period. The author employs a readable style which will make this book suitable for those familiar with this period looking for more detail about a beloved painting, and those who are new to the Renaissance and Art History. Lane-Spollen gives a clear overview of why and how Botticelli conveyed his message in code: An esteemed circle of scholars around the Medici, disillusioned with a worldly and corrupted medieval Church, searched for a purer, unadulterated Christianity in the pre-Christian foundations of their faith. This was a dangerous occupation in a society where the reach of the Church was present in all matters public and private. In 1460 a manuscript was brought to Cosimo de'Medici. Its author, Hermes, was revered by Augustine and the early Church Fathers. Its revelations on the true nature of Man held the evidence they were seeking and stood in stark contrast to the teachings of the medieval church and had no place for man as a lowly humble sinner who must throw himself on the mercy of the Church. Neoplatonism and the Hermetic corpus which so inspired the Medici circle, saw Man as unique among all species and possessing a 'spark of the divine'. Though heretical and blasphemous in the extreme, this philosophy had a profound effect and spread rapidly. As Burckhardt noted, "it became the breath of life for all the most instructed minds of Europe." Convinced by its impeccable provenence, the Medici circle of philosophers and poets strived to merge the three great but competing religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, into a single religion in harmony with their orginal pre-Christian foundations. Expressing this newly discovered 'God-like' being in art stimulated the creative imagination of the early Renaissance as artists like Botticelli, Leonardo, Michaelangelo and Raphaello strove to express 'divine' Man's dignity, his innate capability and the profound depths of his potential for greatness., A chance discovery unlocked the secret of this famous masterpiece, representative of the Renaissance pagan revival and the violent but inspiring atmosphere which spawned it. The Primavera portrays a Christian-Pagan synthesis with Venus, the goddess of love, framed by the universal Christian circle. It was a reminder to a young Medici 'prince' of the Hermetic philosophy, said to be naturally and perennially present in our species. Disillusioned with a worldly and corrupted church, an elite group of Florentines searched Christianity's pagan background for the unadulterated Christian message. In 1460, the works of Hermes Trismegistus were re-discovered after a thousand years and brought to Cosimo de'Medici. They were interpreted as showing that the rival religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam shared a common source of revelation and were in harmony with Platonism. Other classical manuscripts portrayed man as boundless and divine, in contrast to the medieval view of man's lowly and fallen status. This was the 're-birth', renaissance, of the classical , 'god-like' human being, unburdened by guilt. The painting's heretical message, the abiding passion of the Florentine intelligentsia at the time of La Primavera, has survived through five centuries. As Burckhardt said: 'It became the breath of life for all the most instructed minds of Europe'., Botticelli's 500-year-old masterpiece, "La Primavera," was painted at a time when Florence aspired to become the cultural successor to Athens and Rome. In 1460, In 1460, the discovery of a Greek-language manuscript from a pagan prophet of Christianity inspired an intellectual elite, including tutors to the Medici owner of "La Primavera." In seeking to defend and strengthen their Church, this elite sought to fuse the "religions of the book" with their pre-Christian foundations. This unorthodox objective was their all-consuming preoccupation at the time of "La Primavera"'s painting. "Under the Guise of Spring" takes the reader into a deeper understanding of what went on in the early Renaissance, why there was a love affair with Platonism, why people of the time felt they could fuse the three Abrahamic religions, and why they considered it urgent to do so. Though painted a decade before renewed religious zealotry, a prudent tradition of veiling the unorthodox was adopted. Botticelli's disguise, clearly visible, carried a heretical reminder exclusively for the eyes of the young Medici "prince" in his private apartments. "La Primavera"'s mystery, primarily a battle about genre--politics, spring, romance, the Medici golden age--is resolved and revealed in this thoroughly researched book. A chance discovery unlocked the secret of this famous masterpiece, representative of the Renaissance pagan revival and the violent but inspiring atmosphere which spawned it. The "Primavera" portrays a Christian-Pagan synthesis with Venus, the goddess of love, framed by the universal Christian circle. It was a reminder to a young Medici 'prince' of the Hermetic philosophy, said to be naturally and perennially present in our species. Disillusioned with a worldly and corrupted church, an elite group of Florentines searched Christianity's pagan background for the unadulterated Christian message. In 1460, the works of Hermes Trismegistus were re-discovered after a thousand years and brought to Cosimo de'Medici. They were interpreted as showing that the rival religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam shared a common source of revelation and were in harmony with Platonism. Other classical manuscripts portrayed man as boundless and divine, in contrast to the medieval view of man's lowly and fallen status. This was the 're-birth', renaissance, of the classical, 'god-like' human being, unburdened by guilt. The painting's heretical message, the abiding passion of the Florentine intelligentsia at the time of La Primavera, has survived through five centuries. As Burckhardt said: 'It became the breath of life for all the most instructed minds of Europe'., Rather like the Mona Lisa, there has long been a suspicion that there is something disguised in the Primavera. A chance discovery provided the author with the key to unlocking the secret of the 500 year-old masterpiece, opening a window onto the cryptic world of the Renaissance pagan revival.


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