NABOKV-L post 0017413, Tue, 2 Dec 2008 18:49:24 -0200

Fw: [NABOKOV-L] Anthological issues and other garlands

Botticelli's "Flora": finding a close-up

References to Lolita and Boticelli's Venus and pinks:
1." I simply love that tinge of Botticellian pink, that raw rose about the lips, those wet, matted eyelashes";
2. "Curious: although actually her looks had faded, I definitely realized, so hopelessly late in the day, how much she looked - had always looked - like Botticelli's russet Venus - the same soft nose, the same blurred beauty."
3. "...for there is nothing more conservative than a child, especially a girl-child, be she the most auburn and russet, the most mythopoeic nymphet in October's orchard-haze..."
( A poem, a poem, forsooth! So strange and sweet was it to discover this "Haze, Dolores" (she!) in its special bower of names, with its bodyguard of roses - a fairy princess between her two maids of honor.)

LATH, where we see an indication of Boticelli's Flora: I want you to celebrate your resemblance to the fifth girl from left to right, the flower-decked blonde with the straight nose and serious gray eyes, in Botticelli's Primavera, an allegory of Spring, my love, my allegory.

"As she talks, her lips breathe spring roses: I was Chloris, who am now called Flora." Ovid.
Wikepedia: Flora was once the nymph Chloris[...] Aroused to a fiery passion by her beauty, Zephyr, the god of the wind, follows her and forcefully takes her as his wife. Regretting his violence, he transforms her into Flora, his gift gives her a beautiful garden in which eternal spring reigns.

Botticelli is depicting two separate moments in Ovid's narrative, the erotic pursuit of Chloris by Zephyr and her subsequent transformation into Flora. In his philosophical didactic poem De Rerum Natura the classical writer Lucretius celebrated both goddesses in a single spring scene.
Chloris and Zephyr are also present in the Venus painting blowing her ashore to receive a red cloak from a flower-clad maiden.

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