Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The Birth of Venus.
The Birth of Venus is a painting created by Sandro Botticelli in the year 1486. It shows the Roman Goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea as a fully grown woman, arriving at the sea shore. The painting is held in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
The Birth of Venus is one of Botticelli's most famous works. It shows the Roman Goddess Venus, the goddess of love, arriving on the island of Cypress. This is a very large painting where Venus is almost life size. The oranges in the background refer to the fact that this painting was commissioned by the Medici family, one of Botticelli's greatest supporters.
On the left of the picture, is the wind god Zephyr and his wife Chloris, known as Flora, goddess of flowers and blooms. Botticelli expertly showed Zephyr and Chloris each blowing to help Venus reach the shore.
On the right is Hora the goddess of summer welcoming Venus. In the background are orange groves running along the coastline. These trees are budding, not yet blooming, showing that the land is ready to burst into bloom to celebrate the arrival of Venus.
Botticelli knew the history of the violent story of Venus' birth. Saturn, following his mother's direction, cut off the genitals and threw them into the sea. The sea foam produced Venus, the goddess of love. Love triumphed over brutality. When Venus arose out of the sea, a rosebush blossomed on land. Thus the rose became a symbol for Venus and can be seen blowing in the wind. Venus, herself, symbolizes virtue, beauty and chastity. She has a serene look on her face as she enters her new land.