The Birth of Venus, circa 1879, William-Adolphe Bouguereau
The Birth of Venus (French: La Naissance de Vénus) is one of the most famous paintings by 19th-century painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau. It depicts not the actual birth of Venus from the sea, but her transportation in a shell, as a fully mature woman, from the sea to Paphos in Cyprus. She is considered the epitome of the finest expressions of the Classical Greek and Roman ideal of the female form and beauty, on a par with Venus de Milo. For Bouguereau, it is considered a tour de force. The canvas stands at just over 9 ft 10 in (3.00 m) high, and 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) wide. The subject matter, as well as the composition, resembles a previous rendition of this subject, Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, as well as Raphael’s The Triumph of Galatea.