Agnolo Bronzino

Agnolo Gaddi

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Andreadi di Bonaiuto

Andrea del Castagno

Andrea del Sarto

Andrea di Bartolo

Andrea Mantegna

Antonello da Messina

Antonio del Pollaiuolo

Bartolo di Fredi

Bartolomeo di Giovanni

Benozzo Gozzoli

Benvenuto di Giovanni

Bernard Berenson

Bernardo Daddi

Bianca Cappello

Bicci di Lorenzo

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Buonamico Buffalmacco

Byzantine art



Dietisalvi di Speme

Domenico Beccafumi

Domenico di Bartolo

Domenico di Michelino

Domenico veneziano


Duccio di Buoninsegna

Eleonora da Toledo

Federico Zuccari

Filippino Lippi

Filippo Lippi

Fra Angelico

Fra Carnevale

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco Pesellino

Francesco Rosselli

Francia Bigio

Gentile da Fabriano


Domenico Ghirlandaio


Giorgio Vasari

Giotto di bondone

Giovanni da Modena

Giovanni da San Giovanni

Giovanni di Francesco

Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni Toscani

Girolamo di Benvenuto

Guidoccio Cozzarelli

Guido da Siena

Il Sodoma

Jacopo del Sellaio

Jacopo Pontormo

Lippo Memmi

Lippo Vanni

Lorenzo Ghiberti

Lorenzo Monaco

Lo Scheggia

Lo Spagna

Luca Signorelli


masolino da panicale

master of monteoliveto

master of sain tfrancis

master of the osservanza

matteo di giovanni

memmo di filippuccio

neroccio di bartolomeo

niccolo di segna

paolo di giovanni fei

paolo ucello


piero della francesca

piero del pollaiolo

piero di cosimo

pietro aldi

pietro lorenzetti



sandro botticelli

sano di pietro


simone martini

spinello aretino

taddeo di bartolo

taddeo gaddi

ugolino di nerio



Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, c. 1486, Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Travel guide for Tuscany

Sandro Botticelli | Primavera

Primavera, also known as Allegory of Spring, is a tempera panel painting by Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli.
Most critics agree that the painting, depicting a group of mythological figures in a garden, is allegorical for the lush growth of Spring. Other meanings have also been explored. Among them, the work is sometimes cited as illustrating the ideal of Neoplatonic love. The painting itself carries no title and was first called La Primavera by the art historian Giorgio Vasari who saw it at Villa Castello, just outside Florence, in 1550.[2] Vasari’s contemporaries were not particularly baffled by its
secret. He simply writes: “Venus with the Graces who cover her
with flowers, representing Spring.”The Medici family of Florence has become synonymous with the extraordinary cultural phenomenon called the Italian Renaissance.[3]
The history of the painting is not certainly known, though it seems to have been commissioned by one of the Medici family. It contains references to the Roman poets Ovid and Lucretius, and may also reference a poem by Poliziano. Since 1919 the painting has been part of the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.


The painting features six female figures and two male, along with a blindfolded putto, in an orange grove. To the right of the painting, a flower-crowned female figure stands in a floral-patterned dress scattering flowers, collected in the folds of her gown.
Her nearest companion, a woman in diaphanous white, is being seized by a winged male from above. His cheeks are puffed, his expression intent, and his unnatural complexion separates him from the rest of the figures. The trees around him blow in the direction of his entry, as does the skirt of the woman he is seizing. The drapery of her companion blows in the other direction.
Clustered on the left, a group of three females also in diaphanous white, join hands in a dance, while a red-draped youth with a sword and a helmet near them raises a wooden rod towards some wispy gray clouds. Two of the women wear prominent necklaces. The flying cherub has an arrow nocked to loose, directed towards the dancing girls. Central and somewhat isolated from the other figures stands a red-draped woman in blue. Like the flower-gatherer, she returns the viewer's gaze. The trees behind her form a broken arch to draw the eye.
The pastoral scenery is elaborate. Botticelli (2002) indicates there are 500 identified plant species depicted in the painting, with about 190 different flowers.[4] Botticelli. Primavera (1998) says that of the 190 different species of flowers depicted, at least 130 have been specifically named.[2]
The overall appearance of the painting is similar to Flemish tapestries that were popular at the time.[5]


Mercury may have been modeled after Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici,[18] or possibly his cousin Giuliano de' Medici.[19]

Various interpretations of the figures have been set forth, but it is generally agreed that at least at one level the painting is, as characterized by Cunningham and Reich (2009), "an elaborate mythological allegory of the burgeoning fertility of the world."[1] Elena Capretti in Botticelli (2002) suggests that the typical interpretation is thus:

The reading of the picture is from right to left: Zephyrus, the biting wind of March, kidnaps and possesses the nymph Chloris, whom he later marries and transforms into a deity; she becomes the goddess of Spring, eternal bearer of life, and is scattering roses on the ground.[7]

This is a tale from the fifth book of Ovid's Fasti in which the wood nymph Chloris's naked charms attracted the first wind of Spring, Zephyr. Zephyr pursued her and as she was ravished, flowers sprang from her mouth and she became transformed into Flora, goddess of flowers. In Ovid's work the reader is told 'till then the earth had been but of one colour'. From Chloris' name the colour may be guessed to have been green - the Greek word for green is khloros, the root of words like chlorophyll - and may be why Botticeli painted Zephyr in shades of bluish-green.[8]
Venus presides over the garden - an orange grove (a Medici symbol).[9] She stands in front of the dark leaves of a myrtle bush. According to Hesiod, Venus had been born of the sea after the semen of Uranus had fallen upon the waters. Coming ashore in a shell she had clothed her nakedness in myrtle, and so the plant became sacred to her.[10] The Graces accompanying her (and targeted by Cupid) bear jewels in the colors of the Medici family, while Mercury's caduceus keeps the garden safe from threatening clouds.[7][9][8]
The basic identifications of characters is widely embraced,[11][12][13] but other names are sometimes used for the females on the right. According to Botticelli (1901), the woman in the flowered dress is Primavera (a personification of Spring) whose companion is Flora.[14] The male figure is generally accepted as Mercury but has been identified as Mars by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker of SmARThistory.[15]
In addition to its overt meaning, the painting has been interpreted as an illustration of the ideal of Neoplatonic love popularized among the Medicis and their followers by Marsilio Ficino.[6][16] The Neoplatonic philosophers saw Venus as ruling over both earthly and divine love and argued that she was the classical equivalent of the Virgin Mary;[9] this is alluded to by the way she is framed in an altar-like setting that is similar to contemporary images of the Virgin Mary.[15]
In this interpretation, as set out in Sandro Botticelli, 1444/45-1510 (2000), the earthy carnal love represented by Zephyrus to the right is renounced by the central figure of the Graces, who has turned her back to the scene, unconcerned by the threat represented to her by Cupid. Her focus is on Mercury, who himself gazes beyond the canvas at what Deimling asserts hung as the companion piece to Primavera: Pallas and the Centaur, in which "love oriented towards knowledge" (embodied by Pallas Athena) proves triumphant over lust (symbolized by the centaur).[17]



Flora, the goddess of flowers and the season of spring

Chloris and Zephyrus

The origin of the painting is somewhat unclear. It may have been created in response to a request in 1477 of Lorenzo de' Medici,[20] or it may have been commissioned somewhat later by Lorenzo or his cousin Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici.[21][22] One theory suggests Lorenzo commissioned the portrait to celebrate the birth of his nephew Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici (who would one day become Pope), but changed his mind after the assassination of Giulo's father, his brother Giuliano, having it instead completed as a wedding gift for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici, who married in 1482.[7]
It is frequently suggested that Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco is the model for Mercury in the portrait, and his bride Semirande represented as Flora (or Venus).[18][23][24][25] It has also been proposed that the model for Venus was Simonetta Vespucci, wife of Marco Vespucci and perhaps the mistress of Giuliano de' Medici (who is also sometimes said to have been the model for Mercury).[19]
The painting overall was inspired by a description the Roman poet Ovid wrote of the arrival of Spring (Fasti, Book 5, May 2), though the specifics may have been derived from a poem by Poliziano.[26][27] As Poliziano's poem, "Rusticus", was published in 1483 and the painting is generally held to have been completed around 1482,[2][28] some scholars have argued that the influence was reversed.[29]
Another inspiration for the painting seems to have been the Lucretius poem "De rerum natura", which includes the lines, "Spring-time and Venus come, and Venus' boy, / The winged harbinger, steps on before, / And hard on Zephyr's foot-prints Mother Flora, / Sprinkling the ways before them, filleth all / With colors and with odors excellent."[30][31]
Whatever the truth of its origin and inspiration, the painting was inventoried in the collection of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici in 1499.[32] Since 1919, it has hung in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. During the Italian campaign of World War Two, the picture was moved to Montegufoni Castle about ten miles south west of Florence to protect it from wartime bombing.[33]
It was returned to the Uffizi Gallery where it remains to the present day.[34] In 1982, the painting was restored.[35] The work has darkened considerably over the course of time.[27]

The Three Graces



Youtube BBC The Private Life of a Masterpiece - La Primavera, Sandro Botticelli

[1] Cunningham & Reich 2009, p. 282.
[2] Foster & Tudor-Craig 1986, p. 42.
[3] By early in the 15th century (the ’400s, or Quattrocentoin Italian), the banker Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici (ca. 1360–1429) had established the family fortune. His son Cosimo (1389–1464) became a great patron of art and of learning in the broadest sense. For example, Cosimo provided the equivalent of $20 million to establish the first public library since the ancient world. Cosimo’s grandson Lorenzo (1449–1492), called “the Magnificent,” was a member of the Platonic Academy of Philosophy and gathered about him a galaxy of artists and gifted men in all fields. He spent lavishly on buildings, paintings, and sculptures. Indeed, scarcely a single great Quattrocento architect, painter, sculptor, philosopher, or humanist scholar failed to enjoy Medici patronage. Of all the Florentine masters the Medici employed, perhaps the most famous today is Sandro Botticelli (1444–1510). His work is a testament to the intense interest that the Medici and Quattrocento humanist scholars and artists had in the art, literature, and mythology of the Greco-Roman world — often interpreted by writers, painters, and sculptors alike in terms of Christianity according to the philosophical tenets of Neo-Platonism.[Source: The Renaissance in Quattrocento Italy, Chapter 21, p.559]
[4] Capretti 2002, p. 49.
[5]Stokstad 2008, p. 520.
[6] Deimling 2000, p. 45.
[7]Capretti 2002, p. 48.
[8] Foster & Tudor-Craig 1986, p. 45.
[9]Stokstad 2008, p. 521.
[10]Foster & Tudor-Craig 1986, p. 44.
[11]Fossi 1998, p. 12.
[12]Phythian 1907, p. 214.
[13]Mattner 2005, p. 23.
[14]Steinmann 1901, p. 82-84.
[15] Harris & Zucker.
[16]Connolly 2004, p. 25.
[17] Deimling 2000, p. 45-46.
[18]Fisher 2011, p. 12.
[19]Heyl 1912, p. 89-90.
[20]Mattner 2005, p. 22.
[21] Brown 2010, p. 103-104.
[22] Deimling 2000, p. 39.
[23] Bredekamp 1988.
[24]D'Ancona 1983.
[25]Michalski 2003.
[26]Servadio 2005, p. 7.
[27]Steinmann 1901, p. 80.
[28]Patterson 1987, p. 65.
[29]Cheney 1985, p. 52.
[30]Deimling 2000, p. 43.
[32]Brown 2010, p. 104.
[33]Healey 2011.
[34]Connolly 2004, p. 26, 28.
[35] Connolly 2004, p. 44.


Bredekamp, H. (1988). Boticelli Primavera: Florenz als Garten der Venus. Frankfurt: Fischer.

Brown, Alison (2010). The Return of Lucretius to Renaissance Florence. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-05032-7. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

Capretti, Elena (1 January 2002). Botticelli. Giunti Editore Firenze Italy. ISBN 978-88-09-21433-0. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

Cheney, Liana (1985). Quattrocento Neoplatonism and Medici humanism in Botticelli's mythological paintings. University Press of America.

Connolly, Sean (October 2004). Botticelli. Gareth Stevens. ISBN 978-0-8368-5648-4. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

Cunningham, Lawrence S.; John J. Reich (16 January 2009). Culture & Values, Volume II: A Survey of the Humanities with Readings.

Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0-495-56926-8. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

D'Ancona, M.L. (1983). Boticelli's Primavera: a botanical interpretation, including astrology, alchemy and the Medici. Florence: Olschki.

Deimling, Barbara (1 May 2000). Sandro Botticelli, 1444/45-1510. Taschen. ISBN 978-3-8228-5992-6. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

Fisher, Celia (2011). Flowers of the Renaissance. London: Lincoln.

Fossi, Gloria (1998). Botticelli. Primavera. (Inglese ed.). Giunti Editore Firenze Italy. ISBN 978-88-09-21459-0. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

Foster, Richard; Pamela Tudor-Craig (1986). The Secret Life of Paintings. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-439-5.

Harris, Beth; Steven Zucker. "Botticelli's Primavera". SmARThistory. Khan Academy. Retrieved 29 February 2012.

Healey, Tim (5 January 2011). "Denis Healey: the artist within". The Guardian.

Heyl, Charles Christian (1912). The art of the Uffizi Palace and the Florence Academy. L.C. Page. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

Lucretius. On the Nature of Things, William Ellery Leonard, trnsl. at Project Gutenberg

Mattern, Joanne (January 2005). Sandro Botticelli. ABDO Group. ISBN 978-1-59197-839-8. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

Michalski, S. (2003). "Venus as Semiramis: A New Interpretation of the Central Figure of Botticelli's Primavera". Artibus et Historiae 24: 213–222.

Patterson, Annabel M. (1987). Pastoral and ideology: Virgil to Valéry. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-05862-0.
Retrieved 16 July 2010.

Phythian, John Ernest (1907). Trees in nature, myth and art. Methuen & co. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

Servadio, Gaia (2005). Renaissance Woman. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-85043-421-4. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

Steinmann, Ernst (1901). Botticelli. Velhagen & Klasing. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

Stokstad, Marilyn (2008). Art History. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-225067-5.

This page uses material from the Wikipedia articles Sandro Botticelli and Primavera (painting), published under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Numerous other towns and villages offer a treasure trove of history and art waiting to be discovered. The central location of the holiday home allows you to visit the nearby beautiful villages Montalcino, Sant'Antimo, Pienza, S. Quirico d'Orcia and in the south Saturnia and Sorano - known for its beautiful Sasso Leopoldo. And the sea is 38km away in Marina di Grosseto.

Off the beaten trackand nestled in a natural amphitheatre of rolling hills, Podere Santa Pia is the ideal choice for those seeking a peaceful, uncontaminated environment, yet still within easy reach of the the famous Tuscan cities, food and wines. Slow food and slow travel are part of a movement to return to traditional ways of traveling. Wine tasting in Tuscany is practically an obligation in this region of rolling vineyards and hidden, historic wine-properties.

Hidden secrets and holiday houses in Tuscany | Podere Santa Pia| Artist and writer's residency in spring and autumn



Podere Santa Pia
Podere Santa Pia, April
Spring in Tuscany: century-old olive trees, between Podere Santa Pia and Cinigiano

Villa Cahen

Vasari Corridor, Florence


Florence, Duomo

Siena, Palazzo Publicco
Sunsets in Tuscany



Galleria degli Uffizi

The building that is now seat of the Gallery was built in the mid-sixteenth century by the architect Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) in a period when Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, was bureaucratically consolidating this recently acquired position. The building was meant in fact to house the offices of the magistrates (Uffici=offices). From the beginning however, the Medici set aside some of the rooms on the third floor to house the finest works from their collection. Two centuries later, thanks to the generosity of the last heir of the family, Anna Maria Luisa, their collection became permanent public property. XXXXXXXXXXX The museum now comprises the rooms on the third floor of the building, that display in chronological order paintings ranging from the 13th to the 18th centuries. The most precious and famous group of paintings of the Uffizi are however represented by the works of the Italian Renaissance artists, although several sections of the museum are devoted to the works of foreign artists (German, Flemish, Dutch and French).
Of Sandro Botticelli, the museum preserves perhaps the finest collection of works, comprising the Birth of Venus, the Primavera, the Magnificat and Pomegranate Madonnas.


Galleria degli Uffizi
Postal & visiting address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, I-50122 Florence (Firenze)


Museum Hours
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 8:15am – 6:50pm
Closed: every Monday, January 1, May 1, December 25

Floor Plan of the Galleria Degli Uffizi, second floor | Room 10/14 - Botticelli

All of Florence’s state-run museums belong to an association called Firenze Musei,
which sets aside a daily quota of tickets that can be reserved in advance.
The Uffizi, the Galleria Accademia and the Museum Bargello belong to this group,
as do the Palazzo Pitti museums, the Medici chapels in San Lorenzo, the archeological museum and the San Marco museum.

Official site for Polo Museale Fiorentino on line ticketing |


S E C O N D    F L O O R

Room 1 - Archaeological room
Room 2 - Giotto and 13th Century
Room 3 - Senese Painting 14th Century
Room 4 - Florentine Painting 14th Century
Room 5/6 - International Gothic
Room 7 - Early Renaissance
Room 8 - Filippo Lippi
Room 9 - Antonio del Pollaiolo
Room 10/14 - Botticelli
Room 15 - Leonardo
Room 16 - Geographic Maps room
Room 17 - Ermafrodito
Room 18 - The Tribune
Room 19 - Perugino and Signorelli
Room 20 - Dürer and German Artists
Room 21 - Giambellino and Giorgione
Room 22 - Flemish and German Painting
Room 23 - CorreggioRoom 24 - Miniatures room
Room 25 - Michelangelo and Florentine Artists
Room 26 - Raffaello and Andrea del Sarto
Room 27 - Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino
Room 28 - Tiziano and Sebastiano del Piombo
Room 29 - Parmigianino and Dosso Dossi
Room 30 - Emilian Painting
Room 31 - Veronese
Room 32 - Tintoretto
Room 33 - Room 33 - 16th Century Painting
Room 34 - Lombard School
Room 35 - Barocci
Room 41 - Rubens
Room 42 - Niobe
Room 43 - Caravaggio
Room 44 - Rembrandt
Room 45 - XVIII Century


Podere Santa Pia, morning view on the Maremma from the northern terrace. Even after a wet spring,
the hills hereabouts tended to amber, umber and shades in between.

The valley below is characterized by all the elements of the Tuscan landscape: vineyards, pastures, small forests, wheat fields, olive groves and downey oaks. To the south is the little isle of Montecristo, and on a clear day you can see as far as Corsica.

Tuscan Spring

Whilst in a tranquil position, Podere Santa Pia is just a stone's throw away from many activities and interesting places to visit. The surrounding areas are full of towns of art: Montalcino with it's famous Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano and its historical centre, the poor theatre or “Teatro Povero” in Monticchiello, and Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia, two small architectural masterpieces.
Montalcino and the Abbey of Sant'Antimo are within easy reach.
The Val d'Orcia is a marvelous landscape of never-ending hoills, particularly in spring, grain fields, with rich clay and tufa soils. The Val d'Orcia is the real icon of Tuscany, a natural setting of extraordinary beauty that has become known all over the world as the classic Tuscan landscape. Discover Val d'Orcia with its wonderful landscape and its beautiful towns. There are several bike or walk routes to be followed, to admire the beautiful landscape that was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sitesin 2004.

Tenth Sunday after Easter, Corpus Domini in Castiglione d'Orcia - Pienza - Monticchiello. A procession moves through the streets of the country, formerly embellished with gorse and rose petals.

Walking in Tuscany | Vivo d'Orcia - Vivo d'Orcia

Walking in Tuscany | From Vivo d'Orcia to Palazzo Conti Cervini and the hermitage | pdf

Walking in Tuscany |
Castiglione d'Orcia - Castiglione d'Orcia

Maps and descriptions are available in Podere Sante Pia.