blogging birth of venus

  • Title: The Birth of Venus  (Nascita di Venere)
  • Artist: Sandro Botticelli (Italian, 1445-1510)                                            
  • Date: 1485                                                                          
  • Style: Early Renaissance                                              
  • Media: tempera on canvas.                                                   
  • Dimensions: 180 x 280 cm                                                             
  • Location: Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence                    

This is one of the artist’s most recognized paintings. It depicts Venus, the goddess of love, born out of a seashell, a fully mature woman. It is worthy to note that in classical times, the seashell was the symbol for the female genitalia, and as such, Botticelli was artfully referencing the goddess’s actual birth.

For Plato, Venus had two aspects: she was an earthly goddess who aroused humans to physical love or she was a heavenly goddess who inspired intellectual love in them. Plato further argued that contemplation of physical beauty allowed the mind to better understand spiritual beauty. So, looking at Venus, the most beautiful of goddesses, might at first raise a physical response in viewers which then lifted their minds towards the godly. A Neoplatonic reading of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus suggests that 15th-century viewers would have looked at the painting and felt their minds lifted to the realm of divine love.

(Source: Wiki)

***This post is part of my Art side-blog “The–Elusive–Muse