301109: Städel Museum: Botticelli. Image, Myth, Reverence

Städel Museum: Botticelli. Image, Myth, Reverence Maria, Minerva, Venus – Botticelli’s fairest one of all Venus attracts the viewer’s attention in a most promising way. But if one counts on seeing the mythological painting “The Birth of Venus” next to this less known monograph one is bound to be disappointed as the painting may under no circumstances leave the Uffizi. Nonetheless, the exhibition is a “real sensation”, because it is the first monographic show of Sandro Botticelli’s work in the German-speaking region. More than 40 pieces created by the Renaissance painter (1444/45 – 1510) and 40 works of his contemporaries were compiled for “Botticelli. Image, Myth, Reverence. Before getting a good view of Venus, located in the second part of the exhibition titled “Myth”, one must pass through a room devoted to Botticelli’s portraits. Here the painting of Simonetta Vespucci (owned by the Städel), known as the ideal female image, attracts the onlooker’s attention. The portrait is not so much a close-to-life depiction but the ideal of a woman, distinguished by absolute beauty and virtue. Botticelli is well known to the broad public for his allegories. The goddess of love is disconnected from earlier Venus-depictions; detached from the narrative context of the “Birth” she is one of the first monumental nude studies of post-antique art. “Minerva and Centaur” is one of the highlights at this exhibition, the pendant to the also absent “Primavera”. The virtuous goddess of wisdom, whose melancholy features remind of Simonetta, tames the wild mixed creature, which is dominated by its appetence. Yet, not the mythological but the religious motifs constituted the major part of Botticelli’s work. A connection between the two genres is created by the physiognomy of the Madonna, which follows the same character the painter developed for his idealized portraits and antique goddesses. Maria, the ideal woman according to theological perceptions, is both the most virtuous and the most beautiful. This way the viewer can indulge in the third part of this exhibition, in reverence. Thanks to Botticelli’s innovative energy, the paintings never go beyond the border of Kitsch. Conclusion: promise fulfilled! By Lotus Brinkmann Städel Museum 60596 Frankfurt am Main, Dürerstrasse 2, until 28.02.10 www.staedelmuseum.de

Städel Museum
60596 Frankfurt am Main, Dürerstraße 2
Tel: +49 69 605098-0, Fax: +49 69 605098-111
Email: info@staedelmuseum.de
Öffnungszeiten: Di, Fr - So 10.00 - 18.00, Mi, Do 10.00 - 21.00

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