Botticelli’s three Venuses

Botticelli’s three Venuses

Sandro Botticelli was an enigmatic painter, a controversial figure even during his time. His works continue to intrigue us nowadays for their symbolism that seem to resist any interpretation. One of his most enigmatic subject is the Venus, goddess of love and beauty.

Sandro Botticelli was an enigmatic painter, a controversial figure even during his time. His works continue to intrigue us nowadays for their symbolism that seem to resist any interpretation. One of his most enigmatic subject is the Venus, goddess of love and beauty.

During one of our guided tour in Florence you will surely have the possibility to admire the work of the greatest masters, like Sandro Botticelli. He was an enigmatic painter, a controversial figure even during his time. His works continue to intrigue us nowadays for their symbolism that seem to resist any interpretation.

One of his most enigmatic subject is the Venus, goddes of love and beauty. She is the protagonist of three of his major works: The Allegory of Spring, the Birth of Venus and Venus and Mars. Choose one of our Uffizi tours and you will admire two of them, the Allegory of Spring and the Birth of Venus.

The first painting is also the oldest existing painting of Venus by Botticelli. Here the goddess is at the center and she looks back at us, surrounded by myrtle. What is known about this painting is that it represents the main themes of the Renaissance art: beauty, love, rebirth. Furthermore the scene is taken from the Ovid’s tale of the arrival of spring.

The other masterpiece you will see during our Uffizi guided tour is the Birth of Venus. Again, Venus is the central figure, now she is standing inside a shell blown ashore by the wind gods Zephyrus and Aura. The image represents the birth of Venus as told in Hesiod and Homer.

In order to see the other Venus you have to fly to London, as Botticelli’s Venus and Mars is housed in the National Gallery. Here the young and voluptuous couple recline in a forest setting, surrounded by playful satyrs. The Venus is painted, in these three masterpieces, with the same features.

What is curious is to discover if there was someone, a real person, a real (beloved?) girl, a muse under these features. Many say that Botticelli’s muse was Simonetta Cattaneo, wife of Marco Vespucci and love of Giuliano de’Medici. Actually at that time it was said that all the Florentine men had fallen in love with her, Botticelli included, of course.

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