Although there are many gods and goddesses that were held in high esteem by the ancient Greeks and Romans, Venus is one that is renowned in the art world. Throughout the Renaissance art period, the name Venus was used to title many paintings. Some were interpretations of the goddess, most were an excuse to safely paint nudity without repercussions from the church.
Their is one painting with the Venus title that most people think of first thanks to its use in pop culture. That painting is The Birth Of Venus by Sandro Botticelli.
Botticelli, born around 1445, earn acclaim during his lifetime. He was one of Florence Italy’s leading painters, and the young man quickly became a favorite of the Medici family, the wealthy and powerful Italian influencers. The family was responsible for Botticelli’s patronage as well as the financial support of several other artist. Being financially backed, he was able to complete many epic works, including The Birth of Venus.
The Birth of Venus is one of Botticelli’s greatest works. The work depicts a moment from the Greek myth in which Kronos severs Uranus’s genitals…
I know! Greek Mythology is sometimes weird. Really weird.
…and throws them into the sea. Venus, or Aphrodite, emerges fully formed from the foam of a cresting wave. She is then carried by a shell to shores of Cyprus. In Botticelli’s work, the goddess is brought to shore by the gentle breeze of Zephyr, the west wind. A young woman runs to meet the nude goddess, holding out a robe dotted with flowers.
In modern day, the sign of a classic work of art is in its parody. Take a look at some of the interesting ones we found below.