Bottecelli – Сustom Literature essay

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This article discusses the philosophies of Marsilio Ficino and how they influenced many famous people like Lorenzo de' Medici and Sandro Botticelli. Ficino was a great Neoplatonist philosopher who worked under Cosimo de' Medici. Lorenzo and Marsilio 'shared the belief that a unity between spirit and beauty could be achieved through the admiration of Venus.'(33) Lorenzo encouraged Ficino's study of Christian doctrine. While studying this Christian doctrine and interpreting platonic thought Ficino came up with a new philosophy. This philosophy dealt with a relationship between 'the physical world of matter' and the 'spiritual realm of God.' He discusses a hierarchy from the physical world, which leads to the spiritual realm of God. Every level of the hierarchy has come from God and these people wish to make their way back to God. This desire to return to God is called Love, according to Ficino.

With this love comes beauty because if you love someone you find beauty within him or her. This material beauty is then linked with spiritual beauty. Lorenzo understood the link between earthly and heavenly beauty. He showed this by loving Simonetta Cattaneo who was dying of Tuberculosis. Although, she was not very attractive because of her disease Lorenzo thought she was very beautiful

The earthly beauty they saw in her reflected her spiritual perfection. Simonetta Cattaneo became the vision behind Botticelli's 'The Birth of Venus.' In his painting he shows the two forms of love and depicts the nude Venus as spiritual love. I find Ficino's philosophy to have a lot of validity because we can find beauty in things or people that appear to be very ugly. Also, some people are very close to God and spend their life being great Christians while others do not follow religious doctrine at all. Yet, both levels of people hope for some type of salvation from God. On the other hand some people do not even believe there is a God or an afterlife so they do not have a desire to return to him but they still show earthly love.

Ficino's ideas inspired many of his time and are still an inspiration today.

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