Lorenzo Received by the Liberal Arts Procession - Botticelli

The second of Botticelli's Villa Lemmi frescoes at the Louvre.


The depiction is named after the possible owners of the villa at the time in 1483 that the frescoes date to, itwas thought to have been owned by the Tornabuoni family with links with the Medicis.


Lorenzo Tornabuoni is apparently depicted in this fresco being received by the "liberal arts".


The Liberal Arts as depicted are identified from medieval times as the Seven Liberal Arts. They offered a canonical way of depicting the realms of 'higher learning'.


The Liberal Arts were divided into the Trivium ("the three roads") and the Quadrivium ("the four roads"):


- Grammar: young Pupils with books at her feet, Whip, Woman watering plants.

- Rhetoric: Book, Scroll, Sword, Shield,

- Logic: Snake, her hand resting on a nest of Vipers, Scorpion , Lizard, Scale, Flowers or flowering branch, sometimes represented by two discussing old Men wearing togas. Note in Botticelli's the obvious Scorpion in the centre right of the panel (as I note in the picture)



- Arithmetic: Tablet on which she may be writing, Abacus, Ruler.

- Geometry: Compasses, Globe (terrestial), set Square, Ruler.

- Music, Harmonics or Tuning Theory: row of three or four Bells which she strikes with a hammer, portative Organ, Lute, Viol, Swan.

- Astronomy or Cosmology: Globe (celestial), Compasses, Sextant, armillary Sphere.


Beautifully restored and vibrant even in the dim room they were exhibited within.


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Uploaded on February 5, 2006