The Fasti attracted the attention of visual artists during the Renaissance. Artworks inspired by it were not as numerous as those drawing on Metamorphoses, but the Fasti did provide part of the inspiration for Botticelli's Primavera, one of the most famous paintings of the Renaissance.
The painting is in part a response to Ovid's tale of the rape of the nymph Chloris by the wind god Zephyr and her subsequent transformation into Flora, goddess of Spring.
The mythological elements of the Fasti were most likely to be taken up by visual artists. Likewise, in our edition many of the illustrations accompany mythological stories.
The story (3.737-60) that inspired Piero di Cosimo's The Discovery of Honey by Bacchus also prompted our annotator to draw a depiction of this scene in the margin of sig. D4r.
The illustrations for the most part correspond very closely to the text. For example at sig.A5r where the illustrator has drawn an ancient coin showing Janus on one face and a ship on the other. This closely follows the description in the text.
There are occasional divergences from the text in the illustrations: at sig.B3v an illustration shows the nymph Callisto, transformed into a bear, almost being killed by her son. While Ovid's text says his weapon was a javelin or dart (iaculum), the illustration shows a bow and arrow.
Another illustration shows Lucius Junius Brutus, founder of the Roman Republic, kissing 'Mother Earth' in order to fulfil the oracle's prediction that: 'He who shall first have kissed his mother will be victorious'.
Ovid's description in the text of Brutus as 'wise, but pretending to be a fool' resonated with the annotator – fools and the wisdom of folly were very much an obsession of the arts of Northern Europe in his time.
He depicts Brutus in a contemporary fool's costume, with the characteristic cap and bells while the other figures in the drawing, Tarquin's sons, are also in contemporary dress. Similar examples of contemporary dress can be found throughout: see, for example, the illustration at sig.H3r, Tullia driving a chariot over her father Servius Tullius.