Sandro Botticelli and Gaspara Stampa Essay

Sandro Botticelli (1444-1510) was born in Florence. Very little is known about his early life. Botticelli was a painter in the fifteenth century. His work was very sophisticated and feminine. He did quite an amount of work for the Medici family. Many of his masterpieces were mythological paintings. His work included literary references inspired beauty.
I decided to observe the painting of Mars and Venus. Venus appears as an enchantress. She is dressed in a lovely white gown and surrounded by bushes. The baby satyrs play with Mars’ armor helmet and spear. Mars dangles a flute carelessly in his right hand on one of his fingers. One of the satyrs blows a horn in the face of Mars. Mars’ appearance in the painting is weak tired and careless. Venus’ appearance in the painting looks awake and mature.

I really liked the painting of Pallas and The Centaur. In my own interpretation I feel it means women are strong and can defeat all things. Pallas is holding the Centaur by the hair and an axe in the other hand. Pallas looks strong and determined and the Centaur look intimidated and humiliated. It is obvious that Pallas has defeated the Centaur.
A Florentine lady before Venus and the Graces, a woman stands on the far left side of the painting being held by one of the Graces. Her look is confusing as if she does not know what is going on. Someone that to me looks like a statue is holding the grace that is holding her. The statue is holding his breath and is a grayish blue color. Up above all the characters in the painting is cupid and he is shooting his arrow toward three of the graces. The three graces are dancing. A gentle man stands on the right side of the picture picking a peach from the tree. Venus seems to be the center of attention. She is in the far back on her own. The lighting seems to shine more her way. Botticelli uses Venus a lot in his paintings. I think he uses her because she is a strong goddess.

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Gaspara Stampa (1523-1554) Gaspara was born in Padua. In 1531 her father died and her family moved to Venice. The Stampa home became a salon for Venetian literature. Gaspara met Count Collaltino de Collato at one of the various salons she attended. She became his mistress and her affair with the Count inspired her poetry. Only three of her poems were published in her lifetime. After Gaspara’s death, her friends urged her sister to publish a book that Stampa was preparing to have published. Stampa’s Rimes contains three hundred and eleven poems, mainly sonnets and the majority of them are about her affair with the Count.

Gaspara has made the saying true, ” That in every love there is a lover and a beloved and that lover is more important than the beloved”. Even though Gaspara took the lead in her affair, the Count was a major part of her emotions and inspiration. The Count was the object of her passion. In her poetry she described Callaltino to perfection, grace and eloquence. His presence deepened their relationship. She burned for him and he did not feel the same for her. Gaspara felt responsible for his cold heartedness towards her, but she continued to desire him. Gaspara’s relationship with the Count is a continuous relationship with many people even to this date. Affairs can have a very serious take on one person more than the other and usually result in heart break as it did with Ms. Stampa.
By now so sick of waiting, is a poem that I can relate to and will never forget. Gaspara is tired of waiting on the Count. Gaspara’s heart aches for the Count, while he has forgotten about her and the fact that she waits desperately for his return. The pain has overwhelmed her and she would like to put the pain at rest but it is difficult. Gaspara refers to death in a feminine form. Death is deaf on Gaspara’s request. The Count unknowingly and carelessly denies himself to his mistress. “My eyes are always wet, and weeping fills this villa and its shore with misery, while he lives smugly up there in his hills”, she is comparing the rain to her tears, she constantly cries and it is like rain on her lonely villa. She is miserable thinking about him and their affair while he lives in his happy home up in the hills forgetful of her and their relationship.

The poem Harsh is my fortune, but harsher still is my life (or Too Nice To Date) reminds me of growing up and dating in high school. For some reason most girls are typically attracted to the “bad boys”. Girls quickly get bored with the “nice guys” who care and truly like them and respect them. In this poem she talks of how the Count has made her life harder but she continues to desire him. As she pursues the Count, others are pursuing Gaspara, but Gaspara can not be bothered with them because her heart belongs to Collaltino. Gaspara despises anybody who loves her and loves someone who despises her. Her infatuation made her blind to all the other men who adored her for who she was. Her heart yearned for the Count regardless of his objective feelings toward Gaspara. Her soul longs for the nourishment he has given to her. Gaspara angers herself in her pursuit of the Count and her pursuers comfort her and seek to give her peace, but she continues to fall blind and cling to the Count. We look for love in the wrong places and tend to give it to the undeserving.
Gaspara life is like many women now. We love but we love to get hurt. She continuously went after the count and he obviously looked at Gaspara as an object never as the intelligent person she was. At the end of 1550, Gaspara became deeply depressed due to her break up with Count de Collaltino she returned to Venice and began a new relationship with Bartolomeo Zen. In between the years of 1551 and 1552 she lead a tranquil life, but in 1553 her health went downward. She spent a few months in Florence hoping her health would improve. Gaspara returned to Venice and became ill with a high fever and died on April 23, 1554. In October of 1554 her first edition of poems were published and edited by her sister Cassandra Stampa.

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