Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli
25 May 2015 | From Nicol of Netherlands
The Birth of Venus is undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous and appreciated works of art. I actually even have a cross-stitch version of it I made years ago. The Birth of Venus is probably Botticelli's most famous painting. Painted between 1482 and 1485, it has become a landmark of XV century Italian painting, so rich in meaning and allegorical references to antiquity. The picture hung in the country villa of the Medici along with "Primavera", indicating that the work was commissioned by the Medici family.
The theme comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a very important oeuvre of the Latin literature. Venus is portrayed naked on a shell on the seashore. Venus rises from the sea, looking like a classical statue and floating on a seashell, in what is surely one of the most recognisable images in art history. On Venus' right is Zephyrus, God of Winds, he carries with him the gentle breeze Aura and together they blow the Goddess of Love ashore. The Horae, Goddess of the Seasons, waits to receive Venus and spreads out a flower covered robe in readiness for the Love Goddess' arrival.
Source: Italian Renaissance Art