The Birth of Venus was created on canvas with the use of tempera paint. Botticelli would hand grind a material that changes according to the light that it reflects, also known as pigment. The powdered pigments are traditionally mixed with egg yolk which dries quickly and stays firmly in place (Saitzyk, 245). During the Renaissance, fabric such as canvas were used instead of the popular wooden panel. As tempera is a durable paint, canvas is a durable fabric made of flax or cotton. In addition to painting, canvas is used to make items such as sails and tents which require stability and resilience (Saitzyk, 135).
Alessandro Filippis, also known as Sandro Botticelli's, youth remains a historical mystery. A common story is that he was in poor health through his early childhood and then went on to be trained as a goldsmith until his twenties when he began to paint. We do know, however, that Botticelli apprenticed in the workshop of an artist by the name of Filippo Lippi. In 1467, he was left by his master in Florence and apparently joined artistic careers with Verrocchio (Angelis, 3). After returning to his family for a short period of time, as indicated by tax records, Botticelli continued his career with the support of the Medici family, one of the most powerful families in
Florence, Italy. He left Florence in 1480 to help decorate the Sistine Chapel in Rome with some of his art which only the most famous painters of that time were invited to do. In 1482, Botticelli returned to Florence and shortly after painted the Birth of Venus (Angelis, 4).
PART III - ANALYSIS OF THE SITE AND ART OBJECT
Even though I would love to visit and view the Birth of Venus in person, it is located in the Uffizi Gallery in Italy which makes it difficult. However, the Uffizi Gallery has constructed a virtual gallery which allows individuals like myself to view the masterpieces it holds from afar. I
actually did not find the gallery first, I didn't even know where the Birth of Venus was located until searching online. Therefore, I chose this painting first and then went on a web search for it's home. The Uffizi Gallery website consists of a complete catalogue of the pieces it holds which can be searched for alphabetically or by artist. The site is very easily navigated by a first time visitor and even has directions on how to go about navigating through the site. Also, as opposed to other sites, once you click on the pieces title you are given a good amount of information on the piece and a complete image. Overall, the site was a good source of information and a simple guide to
the actual gallery.
The story of Venus's birth in roman mythology is exactly what I see in Botticelli's painting. There are several stories of her birth, but the one that I was told was that of the battle between Uranus and his son. During the battle, Uranus was castrated and his genitals had fallen into the sea. From the waves, Venus was born, blown to shore by the wind God Zephyr and
clothed by the goddess of the Seasons. This painting depicts that allegorical content and it also symbolizes the birth of beauty and love. There is a calm elegance of Venus's movement as she is blown to shore with her masses of hair entangling her. This painting seems to shut out everything, but beauty. The curves of the lines shape Venus's body to contribute...
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