I’ve yearned to see this painting since I first ran across a reproduction in a book when I was a child:
So, last night, courtesy of the Botticelli exhibition at the MFA, I was able to fulfill the dream. Aside from making the message marvelously vivid — wisdom/knowledge conquers savagery with a touch — Botticelli’s powers of incarnation are irresistible. Centaurs are real, man. To say nothing of Wisdom Goddesses. Everything whams you — down to the bow and the axe. I am fascinated by the structure behind the centaur, as well. It’s a forever-intriguing mix of a ruin and a natural stone cliff face. Two more days to visit!!
Forgot to add my one real disappointment: The “Venus” on display — despite being the major illustration in the ads for the exhibit — looks a little “off” to me. I’m afraid I’m inclined to accept the notion that it’s a copy made by assistants under Botticelli’s supervision.