La Primavera


Yesterday, spring (or la Primavera, as the Italians call it) started!

Therefore a blogpost about today’s two finest Italian Primaveras.

La Primavera I
La Primavera is not only the Italians denomination of spring; it is also the nickname of the first great classic of the cycling season: Milan – San Remo. Previously this race was ridden on March 19, the feast of San Giuseppe. Today, the riders start on the Saturday which is closest to March 19. Moreover, some racing fans do not speak of La Primavera, but La Prima Vera. To refer to the first real bike race of the year.

La Primavera II
La Primavera is also the name of one of my favorite paintings. Sandro Botticelli painted this lovely painting on the occasion of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de Medici’s marriage to Semiramis d’Appiano. Therefore, the painting first hung for a long time in the bedroom of the couple at the Palazzo Medici. After they died, the painting went for centuries into the forgetfulness. This until the mid-nineteenth century, when La Primavera moved to the Galleria degli Uffizi (Florence), where it has been admired by thousands of visitors since then.
La Primavera is above all a mythical story about the beginning of spring. Botticelli has depicted almost two hundred different kinds of flowers which bloom in spring on the hills around Florence. He also painted flowers that are impossible to bloom during spring, like oranges, which actually grow and bloom in a different time of the year.

At the far left we can see Mercury, identified by his winged shoes and the staff with two snakes. He chases the gray winter clouds. We also see the three Graces and in the centre shines the Goddess of Beauty, Venus. Above her, we notice a blindfolded Cupid who is about to shoot a love arrow. To the right of Venus is the spring goddess Flora, with at her side the nymph Chloris and Zephyr, the God of Wind. (Chloris and Zephyr are also shown in another famous painting by Botticelli, The Birth of Venus.)

Still, the significance of this masterpiece is not so easy to interpret. There is so much symbolism hidden (not just the chosen characters and their position, but also in the kinds of flowers and fruit painted by Botticelli) that an in-depth study would lead us much too far. A certain truth is that the painting was a turning point in art history and is regarded as one of the first non-religious paintings since the Greek and Roman times.

3 thoughts on “La Primavera

  1. Geef mij maar La Primavera II. Moet je absoluut eens in het echt gezien hebben in je leven. Om bij weg te dromen…

  2. In my opinion every language (here I mean a such word in a wide sense, language like as speaking, but also as representing: arts) own a different spirit, because of it rose (and still rises) from generations of existences, from the flowed and flowing of not individual (unindividual) feelings, sensitivity. What surround us makes the shape of our insight, and our own inside as well.
    Some italians feel themselves close to what the ages of Botticielli essentially were…thanks to some paintings (like the one above) of such ages they are allowed to “taste”, to “sniff gently” something of their roots, of their oneself. I was born in a land not far from the Botticelli’s one, in a city that was very similar to Florence in the ages we mentioned above. I’ve seen the same Springs as he saw, as well as the same Springs made what I currently am. Sometimes don’t mind what the contents of sentences are, sometimes their genuine “shape” and their original sounds are the most important things, are just their own How.
    Therefore I prefer write a couple of sentences in italian and try to tell the How of Springs in our lands (moreover it’s late and probably I’m not able to continue to write in English). A note: in italian the sound of the (european) words is often the same of joining of the single letters’ sound, we have few diphthong or similar, but our letters are spoken softly/gently, like a melody, a tune.

    Primavera nelle terre a cui appartengo,
    ove pianura si incontra con le colline ed i campi si intersecano ai boschi,
    allunga la sua luce di fine Marzo, ancor flebile,
    iniziando ad avvolgere la frizzante leggerezza che d’intorno sorge nel suo comparire. Aprile porge venti freschi sulle pelle dei visi e proietta ombre più nitide dietro essi,
    Il verde più chiaro si colora d’oro durante Giugno ed il caldo di Maggio accarezza,
    delicato eppur forte,
    foglie e gemme di piante ed alberi rinascenti.
    Gli Déi tornano a camminare sulla terra,
    non più grigia né fredda,
    risvegliantesi

    Google translator is not able to “transalte”. Take these words as they simply are.

    It’s really too late

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