Truth be told, I never used to like Botticelli. I struggled with the stiffness of his subjects, the eyes so tranquil, they bordered on dead (but not in a cool artsy way). But then I went to the Botticelli room in the Uffizi in Florence and something clicked. I still can’t explain it. Something about standing in front of his actual work suddenly made it make sense to me. He’s still not my favorite ever, but I’ve unearthed a new respect for his work.
This is Pallas and the Centaur, 1482 and, I swear to you, I need to start looking harder at the pieces I choose before I start drawing. I never meant to make a coloring page with ginormous cryptid testicles or bedazzled Renaissance nipples. Yet here we are with both. And we’re only on the letter B!
You can see nods to the commissioners of the piece, the Medicis, in the rings on Pallas’ dress and the laurel wrapped around her body. As a whole, this can be seen as a story about taming our own beasts, our baser natures: Pallas is completely unconcerned as she handles the centaur, who cringes in his submission to her (to reason).