Tuesday, December 06, 2011

La nascita di Venere

Venus, as painted by Sandro Botticelli seven to ten years before Colombo/Columbus made it to the "New World," could step into this new world of 2011 and walk down a Manhattan sidewalk with ease. Despite hundreds of changes in style and fashion through the intervening years, why is that? And how can an image created more than 500 years ago retain its potency?

Botticelli's La nascita di Venere/The Birth of Venus looks almost like Pop Art, as many others, including artists (see Andy Warhol's remake), have noticed for quite a little while.

Here's a snippet from Roger Scruton's observations in Beauty: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011, page 127): "Botticelli's Venus is, from an anatomical point of view, a mishapen caricature, held together by no skeletal structure or muscular tension, a helpless apendage to the face that looks out so wistfully, not at the viewer but past him -- and yet who cares?"

The original is in Florence -- I've seen her with my own eyes. 

Today's Rune: Partnership.  


the walking man said...

1 day ago or ten thousand years ago people have not changed. Most have little spine or skeletal structure anyway.

Charles Gramlich said...

Makes me think of one of the worst lines in music history. When AC DC are singing a line about a woman who had "the body of Venus, with arms." Egads.