The strange atmosphere of Sandro Botticelli’s “La Primavera,” (The Arrival of Spring) becomes all the more striking when considering such moral ambiguity. Here’s a definitive work of our cheerful time of rebirth. Yet its tinge of darkness is unmistakable.
Pain and humiliation have been intertwined with beauty and virtue. Chloris (second to right) is transformed into Flora (third to right) by the wind god Zephyr (far right), out of an act of penance. Zephyr had raped her and forced her into marriage, but then felt bad about what he did.
He decided to make her into an alluring goddess, who can do things like breathe flowers during the month of May, and scatter the roses of Venus, the Goddess of Love (center) . The ego of this guy. As our present day situation becomes all the more dire however, perhaps we can take solace in a story of beauty following the deplorable.