The Nymph: an Icon and Symbol of western Culture

Gabriella Brugnara



The Nascita di Venere by Botticelli, the Bagnante by Mirò. Almost four-hundred and fifty years divide these two paintings that, also from a stylistic point of view, have no meeting points. But, simply by catching a glimpse of the two atmospheres painted, the observer feels the tight bound that lies between them: as if the Botticellian Venere had been the reference for Mirò when he was drawing the stylized lines of his Bagnante.
When you observe the canvas of the Catalan artist it easily comes to you the idea that the figure you are looking at could be the Venere of Botticelli which, after a long travel along time and space, has arrived to a new land of water (the one of the Bagnante), located in a distant and different time, but where the Nymph can still dance with her striking elegance. An important role in this travel is played by the concept of Nachleben described by Warburg. According to it, it can happen that significant images from the past restart again their “movement” in the future, but with a transformed meaning.


Androgynous; Paganism; Image; Youth; Breeze;

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