(excerpt from my blog: www.soula.com.au)
It happened! We finally came face-to-face. Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and I stood less than a meter apart today in Florence’s Uffizi gallery.
I’ve racked my brain searching for the first time I saw Venus, and I reached back to the age of seven on a very exciting family trip to Cyprus where the country’s motto is, The Island of Venus, and uses the masterpiece freely, or should I say excessively. I’ll take a wild guess and say the majority of Cypriots have no idea of the painting’s actual roots, (and my dear mum counts as one of those people asking if Aphrodite had been taken to Italy when I called her today!).
I’ll take the Wiki def: …the scene was inspired by the text in a Homeric hymn published in Florence in 1488 by the Greek refugee Demetrios Chalcondyles:
- Of august gold-wreathed and beautiful
- Aphrodite I shall sing to whose domain
- belong the battlements of all sea-loved
- Cyprus where, blown by the moist breath
- of Zephyros, she was carried over the
- waves of the resounding sea on soft foam.
- The gold-filleted Horae happily welcomed
- her and clothed her with heavenly raiment.
What’s also revealed here is the origin of our Jack Russell’s name, Zephyr (who is actually more like a hurricane), but… back to my life moment, back to one of the big, completed circles of my life… I was moved completely. So moved I couldn’t move, stuck to the floorboards with only one way to go, closer, if only everyone else would get out of MY way!! I almost felt I had a special right after loving the piece for most of my life, painting her, drawing her over and over. I almost couldn’t understand why no one could see these facts, and why didn’t they all also know I was the one with the tattoo of Venus on my tail? I contained myself, I was in danger of setting off the alarm and for the life of me wasn’t about to live down to Theo’s expectations.
I had a disappointment, I think she needs a restoration, a clean. Or have I grown to love the reproductions, richer in color, brighter? Against the other Botticelli paintings she was the dullest, I think that’s strange and she has in fact been restored in 1987.
I only left the room because of pain, otherwise I’m sure I would have been there until closing time. Never mind, I’m an official amici degli Uffizi, friend of the Uffizi gallery, for the very purpose of being able to get in and out quickly and unlimitedly.
One more thing, because this was such a huge event I feel drawn to make a bit of a speech. Well not a speech but certainly state thanks and acknowledgement for the treatments, therapies, medication and associated practitioners that allowed me to get here. All those included, I still would not have fulfilled this dream, completed this circle if it weren’t for my life partner, my one and only Theo.
So where to now, what dream next… I think I’ll check the weather and see if there are any ‘twisters’ forecast… I need a lift to see the great Oz. No guesses what I’m going to ask for.