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Extra resources for Botticelli: Allegory of Spring
The face of the Virgin has a de- quin the Proud; on the ri^t is Lucretia's suicide tached, spiritual expression, heightened by the ter having presence of a pomegranate, symbol of the Passion the culmination of the come. The to six angels Lucretia's them hov- call THE ST. BARNABAS ALTARPIECE (ca. 1489) The panel was commissioned by the Guild of Doctors and Pharmacists for the church of San This al beauty," but the deeply connected with some passages from the Book and is deliberately cryptic, as indicated by the nxrfrfthe hut and betow, angels and contemporary which the figures are forced, giving them the grief at the loss they have just suffered.
The small panel was painted for Isabella Queen the Catholic, of Castille. Florentine government in 1498 took advantage of the pope's withdrawal of support to accuse Savonarola of immorality and to have him arrested and sentenced to death (May 23, 1498). • Botticelli paid no heed to the accusations leveled at the friar and took refuge in his work with renewed zeal. The sacred panels present subjects which are given symbolical interpretations, while the fever of his mysticism grew hotter and hotter, seek a more archaic and expressive language.
The panel repeats around the classicizing marble the theme of the Munich throne of the Virgin. picture in The composition painted a few years reveals in part earlier. the artisf s new Here the figures direction of research, constitute no longer seeking one compact block, "ideal beauty," weighty with drama. but now on the focusing The strongly expressive faces suffering, intense expression and bodies of the drama. are twisted in pain. The Virgin, St Michael, the angels, and St Catherine still belong to his preceding stylistic phase, while the other saints reflect the search for a new Icmguage that has not yet been Notice in particular the figure fully defined.
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