Botticelli's Birth of Venus is one of the most cherished artworks of the Renaissance period. In this piece the goddess Venus emerges from the sea upon a shell aligned with the myth that explains her birth. Her shell is pushed to the shore from winds being produced by the wind-gods, along with a shower of roses. As Venus is about to step onto the shore, a Nymph reaches out to cover her with a cloak.
Venus is exemplified as a beautiful and pure goddess. Her portrayal as a nude is significant in itself, because during this time in Renaissance history almost all artwork was of the Christian theme, and nude women were barely ever portrayed.
Many aspects of Botticelli's Birth of Venus are in motion. For example, the leaves of the orange trees in the background, locks of hair being blown by the Zephyrs, the roses floating behind her, the waves gently breaking, and the cloaks and drapery of the figures blown and lifted by the breeze.
Botticelli's Venus was the first large-scale canvas created in Renaissance Florence. He prepared his own tempera pigments. He covered them with a layer of pure egg white, in a process unusual for his time. His painting resembles a fresco in its freshness and brightness. Birth of Venus is dependent on the slenderness of Botticelli's line. The proportions show their greatest exaggeration, yet the long neck and torrent of hair help to create the mystifying figure.
Botticelli's Birth of Venus is one of the most cherished artworks of the Renaissance period. When I looked at this picture for the first time I didn’t notice many things that I do know. For example the way that objects in the picture have movement, and I didn’t notice the roses till I sat down and analyzed the piece. Also, the colors used in this piece of artwork are very gentle and easy on the eye.
Living With Art Eight Edition by Mark Getlein
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