Throughout the history of art the human form has captured artisans and their audiences.
While the human form has always been acceptable in art, the nude female form continues to stir
up controversy. Praxiteles was a famous artist during the Greek late classical period who
sculpted and created controversy on the island of Knidos when he made Aphrodite of Knidos
(350-340 B.C.). This new idea of a nude goddess made the island famous, putting it on the map
as a tourist attraction. Approximately a 1,100 years later Sandro Botticelli took the idea of the
nude goddess and depicted the same image in his painting The Birth of Venus (1482). This
portrait was painted during the Early Italian Renaissance right after Girolamo Savonarola had
placed strict boundaries and improvement for society. Despite there being tremendous beauty in
both pieces, there are also distinct characteristics and features that make each work of art stand
At first glance there are many similarities between Aphrodite of Knidos and The Birth of
Venus. The two figures have much in common; most obviously they are both female
representations and both are quite nude. Many culture’s artists either did not have the talent to
carve a complete three dimensional sculpture or were just fond of only frontal and peripheral
views as sculptors from the Old Kingdom of Egypt gave us the slate statue of Menkhaure and
Khamerenbty, a sculpture whose physical back is solely a flat rock surface. Our two pieces under
study, in contrast, are fully three dimensional, sculptures in the round, are meant to be admired
equally from any angle in which a viewer pleases: Front, back, side, looking down on it, or any
other angle. Each piece has a carefully crafted head of hair (or possibly headdress in the case of
the Venus of Willendorf) probably to the latest style of their respective culture. They have both
endured the wrath of nature and the... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2012, 06). Aphrodite vs. Birth of Venus. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 06, 2012, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Aphrodite-Vs-Birth-Of-Venus-1025840.html
"Aphrodite vs. Birth of Venus" StudyMode.com. 06 2012. 2012. 06 2012 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Aphrodite-Vs-Birth-Of-Venus-1025840.html>.
- MLA 7
"Aphrodite vs. Birth of Venus." StudyMode.com. StudyMode.com, 06 2012. Web. 06 2012. <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Aphrodite-Vs-Birth-Of-Venus-1025840.html>.
"Aphrodite vs. Birth of Venus." StudyMode.com. 06, 2012. Accessed 06, 2012. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Aphrodite-Vs-Birth-Of-Venus-1025840.html.