Botticelli: Mythological Wonders in Florentine Humanism and Medicean Patronage

Liana De Girolami Cheney

Wednesdays, October 4 - November 8 (not October 25) 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. 5 sessions
Prescott House, 55 Beacon Street

In the Florentine court under the tutelage of the Medici family, Alessandro  Botticelli (1445-1510) flourished as a painter and humanist. Inspired by poets  (Lorenzo de’ Medici and Agnolo Poliziano) and philosophers (Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola), Botticelli composed the most intriguing paintings of the Italian Renaissance, including The Allegory of Spring (Primavera), The Birth  of Venus, Pallas and the Centaur, and Mars and Venus. This seminar will discuss iconographical interpretations about these mysterious, mythological paintings.

Suggested readings:  Giorgio Vasari’s Life of Botticelli (online: http://members. efn.org/~acd/vite/VasariBott.html) and Liana De Girolami Cheney, Botticelli’s Neoplatonic Images, 1993, or any book on Medicean patronage (see amazon.com). 

Teaching Style: Lecture with discussion     Weekly Preparation: Optional  


    Liana De Girolami Cheney

    Liana De Girolami Cheney received a PhD in art history from Boston University. She is author and co-author of many articles and books, including, Neoplatonic Aesthetics: Music, Literature & the Visual Arts (London: Peter Lang, 2004); Neoplatonism in the Arts (New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2002); and Botticelli’s Neoplatonic Images (Maryland: Scripta Humanistica, 1993).