The birth of Venus is displayed at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. But originally Botticelli was commissioned to paint the work by the Medici family of Florence, specifically Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici under the influence of his cousin Lorenzo de’ Medici, close friend to Botticelli. The painting depicts the goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea standing on a seashell, arriving at the seashore. On Venus’ right is Zephyrus, God of Winds, he carries with him the gentle breeze Aura and together they blow the Goddess of Love ashore.
The Horae, Goddess of the Seasons, waits to receive Venus and spreads out a flower-covered robe in readiness for the Love Goddess’ arrival. Botticelli’s Venus was the first large-scale canvas created in Renaissance Florence. His painting resembles a fresco in its freshness and brightness. It is preserved exceptionally well and the painting today remains firm and elastic with very little cracks. Colour: Venus’s long golden hair sweeps gracefully about her. This use of gold may have been inspired by Donatello’s Penitent Magdalen. Mood, tone and emotion: Birth of Venus is dependent on the weakness of Botticelli’s line.
The proportions show their greatest exaggeration, yet the long neck and torrent of hair help to create the mystifying figure. The iconography of Venus is surely influenced from the classic theme of Venus Pudica, covering her private parts shyly. The theme comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses (a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal’s body structure through cell growth and differentiation. ), a very important work of the Latin literature.
Venus is portrayed naked on a shell on the seashore; on her left the winds blow gently caressing her hair, on her right a handmaid (Ora) waits for the goddess to go closer to dress her shy body. The field is covered with violets whom are a symbol of love. The importance in this painting is the nudity of Venus. The depiction of nude women was not something that was normally done in the Middle Ages, with a few exceptions in specific circumstances. For the modeling of this figure, Botticelli turned to an Aphrodite statue, such as the Aphrodite of Cnidos, in which the goddess attempts to cover herself in a gesture of modestly.
Botticelli has paid much attention to her hair and hairstyle, which reflects his interest in the way women wore their long hair in the late fifteenth century Neoplatonism (a philosophical and religious system developed by the followers of Plotinus in the 3rd century AD), was a thought that helped make a strong connection to the Greek and Roman cultural heritage with Christianity. Venus had two aspects: she was an earthly goddess whom produced and made humans aware or human physical love or she was the Heavenly goddess who inspired intellectual love in humans.
It could be argued that when viewers looked at this artwork in the fifteenth century they would’ve looked at this painting in a way that their minds were lifted to the realm of divine love, spiritually and physically. Botticelli was known to be the greatest poets of the line and the drawing. He is known for his exceptional technique and the fine materials used to accomplish the work. The Birth of Venus is the first example e in Tuscany of a painting on canvas. Moreover the special use of expensive alabaster powder, making the colors even brighter and timeless, is another characteristic that makes this work unique.
Artist Sandro Botticelli, an Italian painter became an extremely successful painter at the peak of his career through hard work. He was known to have a highly graceful style established by his rhythmic skills. He was born in about 1445 under the birth name of Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi. it is understandable that over time his Christian name, Alessandro, became shortened to Sandro. The name Botticelli, meaning Little Barrel, was the nickname of his well-rounded older brother. The name was so familiar that eventually it was discussed upon and family members changed their last name to Botticelli. Details of Sandro’s childhood and early life were limited.
However, He grew up in Florence with his three brothers in the monastery of Santa Maria Novella.. His father, Mariano di Vanni was a tanner (the process of making leather) and lived with his wife Smeralda in the same district as the Vespucci family who became important patrons and influences of the Botticelli’s work. • Botticelli’s father placed him under the artistic direction of Filippo Lippi, one of the most admired Florentine masters of his time. Lippi’s painting style, formed in the early Florentine Renaissance, was fundamental to Botticelli’s own artistic formation and the master’s influence is evident in most of Botticelli’s works. Lippi taught Botticelli the techniques of panel painting, techniques of composition and fresco along with giving him an assured control of linear perspective in addition to the grinding and mixing of various paints.
Botticelli also acquired from Lippi a repertory of composition styles, a linear sense of form and a preference for paler colours, still evident even after Botticelli had developed his own resonant colour schemes. It is thought that his brother Antonio had trained Botticelli as a goldsmith. Most renaissance painters started their apprenticeships at the age of twelve or fourteen. • After Lippi left Florence, Botticelli worked to improve the soft figural style he had developed with his teacher. For this, he studied the sculptural style of Antonio Pollaiuolo and Andrea del Verrocchio, the leading Florentine painters of the 1460s. It was under their influence that Botticelli produced figures of sculptural roundness and strength.
As Botticelli had many amazing artworks depicting the influences and events that were happening at the time, another one of botticellis artworks from the early renaissance era is listed: Primavera – Made in 1482 – Known as Allegory of Spring, – It is a tempera panel painting Painted – The painting is described in Culture & Values as one of the most popular paintings in Western art – Influences by the tale from the fifth book of Ovid’s Fasti – Also there is seemed to be Greek influences in this painting as Venus god of love and Flora Goddess of flowers are depicted to be in the painting – Inspired by a description the Roman poet Ovid wrote of the arrival of Spring – The origin of the painting is somewhat unclear.
It may have been created in response to a request in 1477 of Lorenzo de’ Medici, or it may have been commissioned somewhat later by Lorenzo or his cousin Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici. – One theory suggests Lorenzo commissioned the portrait to celebrate the birth of his nephew Giulio di Giuliano de’ Medici (who would one day become Pope), but changed his mind after the assassination of Giulo’s father, his brother Giuliano, having it instead completed as a wedding gift for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici, who married in 1482. Audience The audience at the time for the birth of Venus, was not so much an audience but for individuals in which privately commission by Lorenzo di Medici his artwork to be made.
• The style of the classical subject matter was something that would have interested the wealthy Florentines who patronized this type of work. However, it would not have appealed to all people, including those who disliked the Medici family. World • 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 seashell and sea foam to the island of Cythera. • The nudity of Venus has a link to Eve in the Garden of Eden. This has led some commentators to speculate whether Venus is a personification of the Christian Church.
It is a fact that in acient times that the title of the Virgin Mary was “stella maris”: star of the sea. Perhaps Botticellis was only trying to make a statement but this statement caused chaos in the church. • Savonarola who was a preacher at the time, had criticized Lorenzo de Medici for humiliating the people with his music, plays, art, for about four years. • By the 1490s, the tension that resulted from the clash between courtly excess and those who wanted religious improvement and respect came to a point when the preacher Savonarola preached his crusade to the people of Florence. One of the people influenced by the preacher was Botticelli, whose change of heart moved him to destroy some of his early painting by fire. After Lorenzo’s untimely death in 1492, Savonarola and his followers succeeded in controling the city, and then commanded the Medici to be immediately banished from the city.
Botticelli himself was so influenced by Savonarola’s words because he himself was having a nervous breakdown caused by guilt at painting pagan, mythological works for the Medici family. Botticells too, abandoned fine art painting for a while. • Despite Savonarola’s excommunication and executions in the late 1400s, Botticelli’s painting became noticeably to have more of a \ Christian and more spiritual representation. The phase of his glorious humanist expressionism, which so enriched Early Renaissance painting in Florence, was over.