Analysis Of Zirpolo's Primavera

1068 Words 5 Pages
Rece Pellersels
Art History 261
An Analysis of Lilian Zirpolo’s Interpretation of Primavera It’s no question that Sandro Botticelli’s painting Primavera (Spring) has an emphasis on the femininity of women in the renaissance. In Lilian Zirpolo’s essay “Botticelli’s Primavera” she discusses the many different aspects that it served as a lesson to women in medieval society. In this essay I will discuss key points analyzing Zirpolo’s argument on the work’s femininity and function, comparing and contrasting Marilyn Stokstad’s arguments in reference to Zirpolo’s, and even my interpretation of the artwork and how it all comes back to relate to femininity. It is no question that Lilian Zirpolo approaches Primavera with a modern-day feminist ideal.
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Countless times Zirpolo references the fact that rape was very commonly followed by marriage between the rapist and victim. In the first paragraph of her essay she references how Zephyrus overpowered Chloris, then turning her into Flora. In Primavera the aftermath of rape is never referenced – Zephyrus rapes a young Chloris and transforms her into Flora. Flora stands beautifully, completely adorned with lively flowers and vines – as if she was never aware that Zephyrus over empowered her against her will. Along with the ideal that rape was a common and unlikely punishable act, Zirpolo also references that wives were to enact wifely behaviors in protest to their own needs and demands. “On Wifely Duties” was written by Francesco Barbaro in honor of Lorenzo de’ Medici and Ginevra Cavalcanti’s marriage, in his book it references that husbands are to control their wife’s behavior completely including demeanor, speech, dress, eating and even controlling their lovemaking. This appears that Zirpolo references Primavera as a lesson for the bride – be a bound servant to your husband or you will end up in an unhappy marriage until death does you apart. Contrary to Stokstad’s interpretation of Primavera, Zirpolo references feminism countless times as Stokstad doesn’t at …show more content…
She emphasizes the different cultural beliefs that we hold today in contrary to the renaissance and makes note of how we perceive topics like rape and marriage in reference to the cultural renaissance beliefs on it. Personally if I were to interpret Primavera I would choose to focus on the more political side of it, similar to Zirpolo’s stance making countless notes of the rape of Chloris and how marriage was viewed more as a contract in the renaissance contrary to the beneficial agreement that we perceive it as today. If I were given Primavera just to look and without any form of reference – just to interpret, I would probably interpret it similarly to how Stokstad interprets it. Without knowing the placement, reasoning, backstory to the gods, or any minute references that Primavera has scattered throughout it would be very difficult to interpret. In that frame Primavera originally looks like a very lively painting, where they could be celebrating something – possibly a marriage. This goes to show that without any knowledge of artwork in reference to the time period it was created the interpretation could be extremely

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