• Free shipping to U.S. $15 Off - Use D7AR82
  • Free shipping to U.K. $15 Off - Use D7AR82
  • Free shipping to Germany $15 Off - Use D7AR82
  • Free shipping to Italy $15 Off - Use D7AR82
  • Free shipping to France $15 Off - Use D7AR82
Home / BLOG

Primavera by Botticelli – The Real Treasure of Uffizi Gallery in Italy


During the Renaissance, "Beauty" was a topic of discussion among cultivated intellectuals, influenced by the ancient cypress masters, and the elite culture of the time had a view of "two kinds of beauty", one heavenly or soulful and one mortal or sensual. What could perfectly combine the two was a delicate and highly spiritual "elegance".

Undoubtedly, the Italian painter Botticelli (1444/5-1510) was the best interpreter of this "ideal beauty".


Tempera on canvas
203 x 314cm Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

In Primavera, Botticelli represented Venus, the goddess of beauty, and her garden. Originally the goddess of rain, Venus represents many symbolic meanings, such as spring, fertility and abundance, and she mainly symbolizes "the love and beauty that created all things in heaven and earth". In the mythology, no one, including the gods, could escape the lure of her love. Botticelli was one of the first painters to return this extraordinary "beauty" to Venus. In the painting, Venus is standing in the middle, whose centrality is emphasized by the distinctive plants behind her.

She is in the shape of an S, wearing a long white silk dress over which she is clad in a brocade robe, one side red with a diamond pattern, the other blue with gold thread embroidery, and decorated with a tassel embellished with pearls. This dominant color of red and blue was often used only in the representation of the Virgin. For the Neo-Platonists, the Venus of ancient mythology, like the Virgin of the Bible, was the ideal embodiment of youthful, beautiful and noble beauty. They could uplift people's souls through their beauty. 

The first person to name this work "Primavera" was the Renaissance art historian Vasari. He said it depicted Venus as a symbol of spring because "her right and left are full of flowers".
After the painting was restored in 1890, experts identified a total of more than 500 species of plants in the painting, 90% of which could be collected in Florence in March and April. Thus, it is certain that it does express the theme of spring. In mythology, the arrival of Venus in spring caused everything to grow and flowers to bloom, while in winter, she descended again to the underworld.
It could also be said that spring was an allegory for the ability to nurture life. Venus not only adopted the light of God, but was also able to transmit the spark of this light to all kinds of objects in the world through fertility and creation. Therefore, with the existence of these sparks, all the materials in the world could be beautiful according to their essential receptivity, and human eyes could perceive these beauties, thus once again arousing love and deep thoughts about the Gods.

This religious understanding of Venus and "beauty" must have been appreciated by the wealthy and art-obsessed rulers of Florence, and it was an important member of the Medici family who hired Botticelli to complete the work, probably as a bridal gift. It was likely that he gave it to a cousin as a wedding gift. Because it was placed in a private space, we find that there is a more intimate communication between the painting itself and the viewer, as scholars have studied.

The order of Primavera should be viewed from right to left: In spring, in Venus' beautiful courtyard, the God of the west wind, Zephyrus, is chasing the nymph Chloris at the right of the painting. Chloris wears a light veil and is covered with spring-opening flowers all over her body. Her breath has become flowers, and her front is Flora, the goddess she transforms into. Venus is standing peacefully in the center of the painting, her son Cupid above the ground, aiming his bow at the Three Graces. The graceful and soft dance of the Three Graces is very soothing to the viewers. Scholars have proved that their images come from the ancient Roman frescoes of Pompeii.

At the left of the painting, Mercury, the God of eloquence and trickery, a symbol of reason, turns his back on all the figures in the painting, and his cane in his hand plucks a cloud between the trees so that the viewer's gaze, along with all thoughts, continues beyond the picture with his cane.

Therefore, it could be said that this work depicts the theme of birth and transformation. Through the combination of different figures, it portrays a vibrant image that life glows with moving brilliance after a harsh winter. In the painting, Venus holds her brocade robe in her left hand while her right hand stretches out gracefully, inviting the viewer to enter her world, where there are not only goddesses and flowers but also the joy that the beauty of life evokes. It reminds us of the famous quote, "Love begins with beauty and ends in joy."

Popular paintings