The Birth of Venus Artist Sandro Botticelli Year c

Perhaps the sea gives birth to Venus just as the Madonna gives birth to Jesus Christ.

Birth of Venus, Botticelli: Interpretation, Analysis

The theme of the Birth of Venus was taken from the writings of the ancient poet, Homer. According to the traditional account, after Venus was born, she rode on a seashell and sea foam to the island of Cythera. In the painting we see here, Venus is prominently depicted in the center, born out of the foam as she rides to shore. On the left, the figure of Zephyrus carries the nymph Chloris (alternatively identified as “Aura”) as he blows the wind to guide Venus.

The work, painted with tempera on canvas, depicts the female nude figure of the goddess Venus standing on dry land having emerged from the sea.

Analysis and Interpretation of Birth of Venus by Botticelli

The composition is similar in some respects to that of the Primavera. Venus is slightly to the right of center, and she is isolated against the background so no other figures overlap her. She has a slight tilt of the head, and she leans in an awkward contrapposto-like stance.

After all, was it mere coincidence that Simonetta was born in the Italian coastal town of Portovenere (in English: the port of Venus)?

Botticelli paid much attention to her hair and hairstyle, which reflected his interest in the way women wore their long hair in the late fifteenth century. He gave Venus an idealized face which is remarkably free of blemishes, and beautifully shaded her face to distinguish a lighter side and a more shaded side.


The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant - Goodreads

On shore, a figure who has been identified as Pomona, or as the goddess of Spring, waits for Venus with mantle in hand. The mantle billows in the wind from Zephyrus’ mouth.

The Birth of Venus has 83,923 ratings and 3,042 reviews

The problem with such an analysis, as I see it, is that 1) Botticelli took the trouble to place Venus figure within the context of the classical myth, and 2) her depiction seems to be different from gratuitous/base works of the time period. If Botticelli wanted to depict a scene which appealed to the base instincts, why bother to be discreet about anything?

Alexandre Cabanel - The Birth of Venus, 1863 | Trivium …

He described Venus as being driven towards the shore on a shell by Zephyrus, god of the wind, while the Horae of the seasons stood on the shore in white, flowing garments.

The Birth of Venus | Michael Field

She is blown towards the shore by Zephyrus - god of the winds - and the breeze Aura, while a Hora of Spring stands on dry land poised to wrap a cloak, decorated with spring flowers, around Venus to cover her nudity.

The birth of Venus - Sandro Botticelli — Google Arts & …

Despite the slightly unusual dimensions of her body - the elongated neck and her overlong left arm - Botticelli's Venus is an incredibly beautiful woman with smooth, delicate skin and golden curls.