Botticelli’s Liberal Arts

Man being introduced to the seven liberal arts (c.1485)
Sandro Botticelli (c.1445-1510)
Louvre Museum (Paris)
Font: Wikimedia Commons

It’s the second time that I have the opportunity ti talk about the Seven Liberal Arts and I think that it wont’t be the last! In this case, the author is the Italian painter Sandro Botticelli who is more known by his paintings the Spring and the Birth of Venus.

Botticcelli painted this scene on the walls of Giovanni Tornabuoni’s Villa Lemmi. Tornabuoni was Lorenzo of Medici’s uncle and he is probably the man who is introduced by the Arithmetic to the rest of the Liberal Arts. At the right  there is a red-haired woman sitting with a square who can be related to Geometry and the central woman with a scorpion is a direct allusion to the Astronomy.

This painting was discovered in Villa Lemmi in 1873

Location: Louvre Museum (map)
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2 responses

  1. i noticed that the magic square of venus
    (http://altreligion.about.com/od/westernocculttradition/ig/Planetary-Magical-Squares/Magic-Square-of-Venus.htm)
    may be embedded in the face of venus painted by botticelli: it aligns fairly well with intersections at the eyes, and nose, parallel lines to the neck, mouth, and nose, and a point at the chin.

    do you think this was intentional?

  2. carlesdorce | Reply

    It’s nice to think that Botticelli maybe had an ulterior motive in his painting but I’m pretty skeptical about this kind of topics. However, this Platonic idea is very interesting and I feel motivated to have a little faith on it.

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