A love letter to philosophy and virtue ethics.
Explore the Renaissance’ Seven Heavenly Virtues and discover what we can learn from them today.
This project is a love letter dedicated to virtue ethics and philosophy. We don’t have a religious agenda but are just curious about how to live the ‘good life’.
Based on the Seven Heavenly Virtues, this project explores virtuous living in the second millennium and how it applies to us and society. We hope it will enhance our understanding of what it means to live a virtuous life and be a good person, just like the paintings intended for its audiences in 1470.
We hope to raise questions like:
What can we learn from the Renaissance virtuous ideals?
Why should they matter to us?
How can we live virtuously today?
During the Renaissance era, when Europe was rediscovering classical philosophy, literature and art, Piero del Pollaiolo and Sandro Botticelli were commissioned to paint seven artworks known as ‘Seven Heavenly Virtues’. Intended to decorate the town hall in the centre of Florence, these pieces were going to be the guiding inspiration for the public on how to follow the path to virtuous living.
Virtues are character and behavioural traits we strive to live by. Think of them as moral goals we set for ourselves that will allow us to be who we want to be and live our best lives. For ourselves and others.
The Seven Heavenly Virtues are derived from a poem by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (c. 410 AD). Aurelius’ work was trendy in the Western Middle Ages and Renaissance due to the connection with Christianity and was therefore also popular in literature and art.
The Seven Heavenly Virtues are by no means an exhaustive list. It’s neither the first nor the last, but we can aspire to them and learn and are perhaps more relevant now than ever.