Float of Venus
Francesco del Cossa, Allegory of April, Triumph of Venus, Palazzo Schifanoia, 1469
Triumph of April/Escape from Boredom (After Francesco del Cossa)
The literal translation of the name of the Palazzo Schifanoia is ‘Escape from boredom’. Inside the palace, is a cycle of captivating allegorical frescos by Francesco del Cossa illustrating the mythological succession of the months. Each month is depicted as a ‘triumph’ of their governing god or goddess as they are pulled across the landscape by harnessed swans, lions and dragons on unique brocaded floats. Laden with surreal imagery of a visual language lost to time, each fresco is a mystery.
The float of Venus in Cossa’s April fresco is particularly interesting due to its unfeasibility. It rests on legs that sink into the water rather than allowing the vessel to float, and pulled by two swans reigned with harnesses that appear to ghost through matter.
Triumph of April/Escape from Boredom (2017), takes the unreal and mythological nature of Venus’ float and strips back the details to focus on the unreality of the structure. By recreating the ‘vessel’ I am striving to make it feasible in sculpture. The sculpture therefore serves to bring the unreality of Cossas rendering into three-dimensional form as an extension of Cossa’s skill of rendering mythology visible, providing the audience, for a passing moment, an escape from boredom.