Leading Ladies: The Birth of Venus

7:00 AM

Leading Ladies
StrongWomen in Art
Curated by Katie Sloan

Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1486

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli has become one of Botticelli's most renowned paintings. On the right of Venus are Zephryus and Aurora. Zephryus is the God of Winds, and he carries Aurora who is the gentle breeze. The two work together to blow Venus, the goddess of love, to shore where Horae, the goddess of seasons, waits to receive her in a robe covered with flowers. The flowers represent fertility, showing Venus's innocence but responsibility as a woman. The way she attempts to cover her privates shows her modesty and innocence.

Botticelli was a student of Lippi and developed his style of painting through his teachings. However, it was Massacio that Botticelli had been inspired by and sought to acquire his artistic skills. Botticelli mastered the style of the Renaissance's golden age. His paintings embodied the life of the figures in them, and he detail put into them is beautiful. In The Birth of Venus, the people in the painting have been painted with acute attention to detail. Their facial expressions seem to talk to the viewer, showing what they are feeling in the moment this painting was captured. The drapery in all the clothing flows naturally and looks realistic to the viewer's eye.

Venus is thought to be based off a woman that Botticelli knew. Her name was Simonetta Vespucci and during her time, she was beautiful and a favored model by the Medici court. Her face appears in this painting and other paintings by Botticelli featuring a woman. The fact that she appears in several of his paintings gives us the idea that perhaps Botticelli was in love with this woman. He worships her beauty through his paintings, and her inspiration to him fueled his talent and harnessed it into his true potential. Not only does this painting feature a strong female lead, Botticelli found himself a slave to the power of Simonetta's beauty.

You Might Also Like