You’ve seen Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. There she stands at the sea’s edge, demure in her newly opened scallop shell. Her hair is plenty long enough to cover all of her, since she’s in her birthday suit, but she’s no prude, not this goddess, and so she’s left one breast uncovered.
A reception committee has arrived to greet her. A handsome winged god, Zephyr, hovers on the left with his cute girlfriend, Aura. Both are blowing a breeze that is driving Venus toward shore and fluffing her hair, almost like a fashion shoot. On the right is the Hora of Spring (one of the Hours), a lovely minor goddess who seems to be doing a bit of floating herself as she holds out a garment for Venus to put on, when she’s ready, of course. Pink mallow flowers hover in the air and appear in miniature on the garment, as well.
In 1480 or so, when Boticelli painted his Renaissance masterpiece, he did not include any blood in the water, notice. There is no Titan on the distant cliffs, laughing, while another Titan, his father, clutches his bloody loins. Nope. Wisely, Botticelli left out the rest of the story.
If you’d like to learn the terrifying origin of The Goddess of Love, the eldest Olympian, join me in my performance of Fall of the Titans, this coming Sunday on Harvard Square at Grendel’s Den.
As gruesome as it is, it makes a strange kind of sense.
An adult storytelling with music on Celtic harp and 12-string guitar. No children please.
Sunday, March 31 at 6 pm
Grendel’s Den, Cambridge MA