COSSA, Francesco
(b. ca. 1435, Ferrara, d. ca. 1477, Bologna)

Allegory of April: Triumph of Venus (detail)

1470
Fresco
Palazzo Schifanoia, Ferrara

The painting above the month of April depicts the triumphal entry of Venus. From it a detail is presented here which shows lovers kneeling and embracing each other while surrounded by other youths and maidens. The figures at the edge of the group hold decorative lutes, while the central figure, immediately above the couple, bears a pair of flauti dolci (soft recorders). In this picture, music is in direct relation to love; it is an attribute of bodily pleasure. Especially characteristic is the role of the two flauti dolci, which, partly because of their suggestive shape became the symbol of fertility.