Athene and the Centaur.

 Athene and the Centaur was yet another of Botticelli's mythological paintings. It was hung in the palace of Lorenzo de Pierfrancesco who was an important patron of Botticelli's work.

 In mythology the half man half horse centaur satisfies his lust by chasing nymphs. Botticelli's painting represents the victory of chastity (represented by Pallas) over lust (the centaur).

Athene and the Centaur, c 1482 (w)
Tempera on Canvas, 207x148 cm. Uffizi, Florence

 Pallas Athene, Goddess of Wisdom grasps the hair of a centaur preventing him from using his bow.
Pallas is seen holding a halberd in her hand. She has the branches of the olive tree entwined around her arms and body (the olive tree is a sacred symbol for the Goddess of Wisdom and the halberd represents the lance, also associated with the Goddess).

 The three interlinked rings of the Medici family have been used as an ornamental element on the clothing of Pallas indicating that the work was commissioned by a member of that family. 

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