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(piano jazz music)
- [Female Narrator] We're in probably the most
crowded gallery at the Uffizi
here in in Florence.
This is the room that contains Botticelli's
fabulously beautiful Birth of Venus.
- [Male Narrator] And you can hear the hub-bub around us.
But it's interesting that
the Birth of Venus is a painting
that we actually know very little about.
We don't know who it was painted for.
We don't know where it was originally intended to be seen,
the subject, a full length, nude female
is highly unusual especially for the 15th century.
- [Female Narrator] We do see nudes in medieval art
and even in renaissance art before this.
But the nudes are usually Adam and Eve.
- [Male Narrator] And beginning in the 15th century
artists do begin to experiment with introducing
heroic male nudity within a biblical context.
Think for instance of Donatello's David.
But here we have something exceptional.
This is an almost life size, full-length, female nude.
That is fully pagan in its subject matter.
- [Female Narrator] Pagan and undoubtedly
the Goddess of love.
Although the artists of the renaissance are looking back
to ancient Greek and Roman sculpture
many of which were nudes,
they've in the past transformed them into
a Christian biblical subject.
Here Venus remains Venus.
- [Male Narrator] In fact nudity in Christian art
was often an expression of something traumatic.
We see Christ almost nude on the cross.
Or we see the sinful being led into hell.
What makes this painting so exceptional
is that it is perhaps one of the first
almost life size representations of a female nude
that is fully mythological in its subject matter.
- [Female Narrator] She covers her body very much the way
Eve covered hers when she was expelled
from the Garden of Eden
but here we have a gesture of modesty.
Not one of shame.
Venus floats on a seashell.
She's born from the sea.
- [Male Narrator] And because
we're talking about classical mythology
she can be born fully grown.
- [Female Narrator] And here she is blown
by the west wind Zephr and we see his body
entwined with the body of Chloris.
- [Male Narrator] On the right we see an attendant
who is ready to wrap the newborn goddess.
Although all of these figure clearly represent
Botticelli's incredibly sophisticated understanding
of the human body.
Look at the wonderful sway of Venus.
Or the complex intertwining of the two figures on the left.
And despite the fact that we see a very deep space
the canvas feels flat.
And this is the result of a number of things.
For one thing, the emphasis on pattern.
Botticelli has strewn the left side of the canvas
with flowers which are very close to the foreground.
On the right side we have flowers again but now,
they're part of the dress worn by the attendant
and part of the cloth that she carries.
The rhythmic alteration of light and dark
in the scallop shell
seems to push the back forward.
And even the little v's that refer to the waves of the sea
create a sense of two dimensionality.
So that the entire canvas,
although depicting a deep space
is also so heavily patterned
that it reminds us of its own two dimensionality.
- [Female Narrator] And the figures all
occupy the same plane.
That is one figure isn't behind another
or deeper in space than another
and so it does read very flatly
but I would also argue that although Botticelli does have
an understanding of human anatomy
and we can see that clearly in the body of Venus
or in the figure of the west wind,
or the way that we see the drapery
wrapping around the figure of the nymph on the right
the figures are weightless,
they don't stand firmly on the ground
the way that often expect
renaissance figures to stand
and the figure of Venus forms this serpentine shape
that actually I think would be an impossible to stand.
- [Male Narrator] Certainly when you're surfing to shore
on a seashell.
Look for example,
the way that the artist has highlighted her golden hair
with actual lines of gold.
Gold that also appears in the foliage to the upper right
and can be seen in the trunks of the trees
that form the grove at the right.
- [Female Narrator] Venus tilts her head slightly,
her hair blows in the wind
and surround the curve of her body
and is brought down in front of her
to cover her modestly.
Although there may be meaning behind this painting
that connects classical mythology to certain Christian ideas
via a philosophy called Neoplatonism,
what we're looking at essentially
is still a beautiful and erotic image.
This is a celebration of both beauty and of love.
And we can think about that in both a secular context
and a Christian one.
(piano jazz outro)
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維納斯的誕生 (A celebration of beauty and love: Botticelli's Birth of Venus)

78 分類 收藏
Caurora 發佈於 2019 年 11 月 10 日
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