Blog #1 AMT200

08 Jun


Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus (Nascita di Venere) 1486

Aside from being very beautiful, Botticelli’s Venus can also be appreciated for its deeper significances.

Firstly, the Italian Renaissance was a time of very religious artistic work.  The Medici family and the Catholic Church combined created a high demand for religious pieces.  Depending on its interpreter, Venus can very much be viewed as having religious influences.  The characters are somewhat heavenly, and with many paintings of the time depicting the Virgin Mary, it was not out of the question for this painting to possibly represent Her.

Secondly, and on the flip side of that, Venus was a mythological character. Such ideas were generally in conflict with the religious values of the time.  According to mythology, Venus represents love and passion– these humanistic characteristics are very evident in Botticelli’s painting.

Thirdly, The Birth of Venus may also have had political significance.  It is speculated that the female characters of the painting were modeled after Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci, to gain favor with the Medicis, two of whom are rumored to have been enamored with her (Ref:

It is also interesting, that in contrast to other paintings of the Italian Renaissance, Botticelli’s work here lacks the painstakingly realistic human proportions, and sought after depth and perception that was characteristic of the period.

Personally, the painting appeals to me out of its surreal beauty.  The shell brings to mind mermaids, and the mysterious world that we on land are not a part of.  The color palette is rich, but soft, unlike some of the dark, intense pieces of the Renaissance.  Venus‘s whimsy and many possible interpretations make it impossible to grow tired of.


Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Blog #1 AMT200

  1. chase2003

    June 11, 2012 at 3:38 am

    First of all I want to say that the painting you picked is a great piece of work that I actually have never scene before. I find this painting to be very ascetically pleasing with the a body of water to the left and then a forest to the right with a women in a shell separating the two. In your writing you did state the factual importance as well as the artist of the painting which was Botticelli. You went very deep into the significance of the deeper meanings of the painting such as talking about the conflict with Venus and the religious values. Your analysis from my point of view is very well written with a lot of factual evidence to support your ideas about the painting.

  2. jadolena

    June 12, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Amy, I totally agree with you that this is a beautiful painting. The overall colors used are strong but are not over powering. It definitely has a beachy feeling to it, and makes me want to go to the Caribbean. I appreciate that you chose a piece that had religious, and political significance. I find it very interesting how art work had such influence in the religious and political spectrum of its time. Overall, I think you did an excellent job summarizing and analyzing The Birth of Venus, and I enjoyed learning about its origination.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: