Adventures in Art History Adventures in Art    

Lesson 10: Mars and Venus

by Sandro Botticelli


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    Adventures in Art History Adventures in Art    

Lesson 10: Mars and Venus

by Sandro Botticelli

Directions

Study the painting for one week.

Over the week:

  • Look at the painting.
  • Read the synopsis.
  • Study the vocabulary words.
  • Read about the artist.
  • Practice reciting the names of the artist and the painting.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.
  • Study the review questions.

Synopsis

Sandro Botticelli's 'Mars and Venus' features two figures from Roman mythology, the male Mars, Roman god of war, and the female Venus, roman goddess of love. Venus watches Mars as he sleeps with a solemn expression. Wasps swarm ominously close to Mars' head. Young satyrs frolic around them and play tricks. Two satyrs hold a lance, and one is about to blow a conch shell in Mars' ear. In the lower right corner, one Satyr lays under Mars wearing Mars' breastplate and holding a green fruit. The city of Florence and mountains appear in the distance. Two evergreen plants grow in the background, the laurel and the myrtle. The laurel is associated with Mars when he acts as a peace bringer. The myrtle is often associated with Venus.

Vocabulary

Venus: Roman goddess of love.
Mars: Roman god of war.
Mythology: A collection of traditional stories, typically involving supernatural beings and events.
Roman: Relating to ancient Rome.
God: In monotheistic religions the creator and ruler of the universe.
Goddess: A female ruler of the universe.
Satyr: A woodland god represented as a man with a horse's or goat's ears, legs, and/or tail.
Conch: A tropical ocean sea snail with a spiral shell.

Concepts

Sandro Botticelli painted 'Mars and Venus.'

  1. Botticelli was born in the mid-1440s in Florence, Italy. See his picture below.
  2. Find Botticelli's country of birth on the map of Europe below.
  3. The 1440s were a part of the early Renaissance-era. The Renaissance is a period in European history from the 1400s to the 1700, characterized by a wider availability of books to the general populace and the rebirth in learning in the arts, mathematics, and the sciences.
  4. Botticelli first worked as an apprentice goldsmith and then as an apprentice painter.
  5. By his forties, Botticelli earned the title of master painter.
  6. Botticelli died in 1510 at the age of 64.

Enrichment

Activity 1: Can You Find It?

During the week, study the painting and find the following:

  • Satyrs
  • Lance
  • Conch Shell
  • Venus
  • Mars
  • Helmet
  • Green Fruit
  • Laurel
  • Myrtle
  • Bees

Activity 2: Narrate the Painting

  • After studying the painting, narrate the scene shown in the painting aloud using your own words.

Activity 3: Complete Vocabulary Activities

  • While studying the vocabulary words, point them out in the painting.
  • Define each of the vocabulary words in your own words.

Activity 4: Act Out the Painting - Create a Conch Shell Horn

  • One day this week, decorate and then roll up some paper and pinch the narrow end to form a 'horn.'
  • See who can make the funniest noise blowing through their horn.
  • Act out the Satyr sneaking up on Mars and blowing the horn.

Activity 5: Color the Painting   

  • Click the crayon above, and complete page 15 of 'Kindergarten Art History Coloring Book.'

Review

Question 1

Who are the characters in the painting?
1 / 5

Answer 1

Venus, Mars, and satyrs.
1 / 5

Question 2

What is the setting of the painting?
2 / 5

Answer 2

Outside on the grass near the city of Florence, Italy.
2 / 5

Question 3

What is the satyr blowing?
3 / 5

Answer 3

A conch shell.
3 / 5

Question 4

What are three of the satyrs holding together?
4 / 5

Answer 4

A lance.
4 / 5

Question 5

What is Mars doing?
5 / 5

Answer 5

He is sleeping.
5 / 5

  1. Who are the characters in the painting? Venus, Mars, and satyrs.
  2. What is the setting of the painting? Outside on the grass near the city of Florence, Italy.
  3. What is the satyr blowing? A conch shell.
  4. What are three of the satyrs holding together? A lance.
  5. What is Mars doing? He is sleeping.

References

  1. 'Sandro Botticelli.' Wikipedia. Wikipedia.org. n.p.