la-fortezza

Vi siete presi, vi siete lasciati, vi siete ripresi di nuovo. Eppure lo sapevi che non poteva durare, te lo sei sempre sentito dentro. Voi due potete stare insieme, ma non siete fatti per stare insieme.
—  Quella vita che ci manca
Le sue labbra contro i denti, e la sua bocca che sapeva di fumo e di qualcosa di dolce in fondo. Si baciarono. Si baciarono con la stessa disperazione di due che hanno aspettato una vita. Le dita dappertutto, tra i capelli, tra le labbra, si baciavano non solo con la bocca, con tutto il corpo. Si baciavano, e non riuscivano a bastarsi.
—  Quella vita che ci manca

Sandro Botticelli - “La Fortezza” (Fortitude) 1470

87x167 cm or 2.85x5.48 ft

The Uffizi Gallery, Florence

La Fortezza is Botticelli’s earliest dated piece. If you aren’t sure who Sandro Botticelli is off the top of your head, here are the links to two of his most famous paintings: “The Birth of Venus” and La Primavera ~a.k.a~ the “Allegory of Spring.” Botticelli spent most of his life in Florence working for Lorenzo de’ Medici, who was probably the most famous member of the family Medici earning him the nick name “Lorenzo Magnifico” or Lorenzo the Magnificent. It was Lorenzo’s taste for antique styles and his addiction for collecting art that defined Botticcelli’s career.

La Fortezza has a strange history in that it was not originally intended to be painted by Botticelli. Piero del Pollaiolo was the first artist commissioned with the task of painting the portraits for each of the seven virtues, all of which were rendered in extremely high quality, but he was only allowed complete six of the seven, leaving the lovely Lady of Fortitude to Botticelli. I understood that the decision to assign the last of the set to Botticelli was made by the council of commissioners and not Pollaiolo himself. Supposedly, Pollaiolo was not able to keep up with the projected deadline.

So, what is it that makes the Fortezza so stunning???

The size in itself makes this portrait quite impressive, but what really sets the Fortezza apart from the other virtues are all the crazy details that Botticelli included. This painting was huge for his career. Not only was it his first real commission, but it was also the painting that would complete the series of paintings that were to be displayed in court. Naturally, Botticelli must have taken on a sense of competition, which in turn would have inspired him to go beyond that which had been completed by his predecessor. His acute attention to detail defines his style and allows us to distinguish the lady fortitude from the rest of the six virtues.

We see a lot of women, particularly Mary, on fancy thrones during the Renaissance. Botticelli even dressed the Lady Fortitude in Mary’s colors – red and blue. The throne was a great way of giving prospective to a painting along with giving the seated figure importance, and in the Fortezza the throne makes for a powerful element. This particular style of throne-age first came to light in the city of Ferrara where the artists such as Michele Panninio and Cosme’ Tura painted portraits of Muses in a similar way. One will notice in Pannino’s Musa Thaliathese paintings took on the same stylistic and decorative elements that were used by Squarcione and his pupils (Note previous post).

~Art History Derp

Si baciarono, e non riuscivano a bastarsi.

Prima non c'era nient'altro che le scale luride, l'intonaco distrutto e chiazzato dalla muffa per la pioggia mai asciugata, l'odore di chiuso tipico dei luoghi abbandonati e il freddo che spirava da ovunque, dalla tromba delle scale, dal buco della porta sfondata.
E dopo, dopo c'era tutto.
Dopo c'era la sua schiena contro il muro scorticato, stringersi Delia addosso e le mani di lei premergli sulle braccia, e il respiro forte come dopo una lunga corsa. Le sue labbra contro i denti, e la sua bocca che sapeva di fumo e di qualcosa di dolce in fondo.
Si baciarono. Si baciarono con la stessa disperazione di due che hanno aspettato una vita. Le dita dappertutto, tra i capelli, tra le labbra, si baciarono non solo con la bocca, con tutto il corpo.
Si baciarono, e non riuscivano a bastarsi.