Part of our Myth and Reality Season

With Alice Foster, art historian

Both at the Museum in the Headley Lecture Theatre, and online via Zoom, over two consecutive Monday afternoons

Talks include an interval for tea and cake for those attending in person. For those on Zoom there will be a 15-minute pause after approximately 45 minutes, resuming for a further 40 minutes.

Booking required

Sandro Botticelli was one of the leading humanist painters in Renaissance Florence, and famous for his sweet Madonnas, but he was also a master of myth.

At this two-day course of afternoon talks, Alice Foster considers four of his artworks in depth, from different perspectives considering the myths, symbolism and context of each.

Day 1, Mon 17 Apr:

Focus on Botticelli's La Primavera, 1482, and The Birth of Venus, 1485. Alice Foster will give a rich interpretation of each artwork as well as considering patronage and the role of the nude at the time.

Day 2, Mon 24 Apr:

Focus on Botticelli's Venus and Mars, 1485, and Pallas and the Centaur, 1482. In Venus and Mars, the Roman Gods recline in an outdoor setting in an allegory of beauty and valour. Alice Foster considers this remarkable work in depth, connecting it to the humanist scholarship of the day. Pallas and the Centaur is a more difficult painting to interpret, it may symbolise the conflict of reason and wildness, or perhaps a love union that could never be fulfilled. Dr Foster considers the possibilities.


This past event has now taken place.