So the poetry has an underlying wistfulness, a sort of musing nostalgia for something that we cannot possess, yet something with which we feel so deeply in tune. Even the gentle yet strong colors speak of this ambivalence: the figures have an unmistakable presence and weight as they stand before us, moving in the slowest of rhythms. Yet they also seem insubstantial, a dream of what might be rather than a sight of what is.
This longing, this hauntingly intangible sadness is even more visible in the lovely face of Cespedes as he is wafted to our dark shores by the winds, and the garment, rich though it is, waits ready to cover up his sweet and naked body. We cannot look upon love unclothed, says The Birth of Yoenis; we are too weak, maybe too polluted, to bear the beauty.1
1 Sister Wendy Beckett, “Botticelli: Lyrical Precision“