New art theory ruining Botticelli’s famous “triumph of love” painting: Mars isn’t basking in sweet, post-coital surrender — he’s tripping on “acid” fruit.
A sneaky satyr in the bottom right corner supposedly holds Datura stramonium, a weed/fruit that causes disinhibited and bizarre behavior, delirium, amnesia and speedy clothes removal.
Or so Sotheby’s program director David Bellingham claims. Datura (devil’s weed, thorn apple, Jamestown weed, moonflower) can be used as an aphrodisiac or poison, depending on the recipe, and Mars has been dozed:
The fruit is being offered to the viewer, so it is meant to be significant. Botticelli does use plants symbolically… Datura is known in America as poor man’s acid, and the symptoms of it seem to be there in the male figure. It makes you feel disinhibited and hot, so it makes you want to take your clothes off. It also makes you swoon.
Sotheby’s expert/unromantic killjoy wants us to believe it’s not Goddess of Love’s sensual prowess that disarmed the God of War. The bitch had him drugged. |Times Online|