Detail, The birth of Venus, c 1484, Tempera on wood.  Ufizzi Gallery Florence

Detail, Primavera, c 1482, Grease tempera on wood.  Ufizzi Gallery Florence

Pallas and the Centaur, 1482, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

This painting belonged to Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici and while there is some dispute in art circles, it is presumed to have hung, along with the Primavera, in one of the rooms of his palace on Via Larga in Florence.

Pallas wears a dress decorated with olive branches and a coat of arms which consists of three interwoven rings. Deo Amante, devoted to God, was the emblem of Cosimo the Elder and then other members of the Medici family.

What the meaning of the painting is has not been fully established. It has been variously interpreted as an allegory of the contrast between Chastity and Lust, Humility and Instinct and Reason.

(Text adapted from Gloria Fossi, Uffizi Gallery: The Official Guide, all of the works, 1999)