Art: Florentine Revival

Sometime around 1500 a queer Florentine named Piero, of whom it is recorded that he hated the amenities and liked anything wild, was commissioned to paint a decorative panel for the palazzo of one Giovanni Vespucci. A Rousseauist ahead of his time, Piero proceeded to turn out another painting of his favorite subject, primitive life.

Since anthropology then consisted mainly of the Greek and Roman myths as related by Ovid, he had to rely on his imagination. He painted a troop of satyrs and demi-mortals congregating in a meadow around a hollow tree,...

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