24 de março de 2011

Sandro Botticelli - Birth of Venus

Birth of Venus - 1482-86
Galleria degli Uffizi - Florence

Birth of Venus is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It was painted by Alesandro di Mariano Fillipepi (1445-1510), known as Sandro Botticelli, who was an italian painter of the Florentine School. He served an apprendiceship under Fra Filippo Lippi, the best Florentine painter of that time. Botticelli made his name with his painting Allegory of Fortitude (1470), and he was subsequently commissioned to paint, Birth of Venus for Lorenzo de Medici “The Magnificent” from the wealthy Medici family. In mythology, Venus was conceived when Titan Cronus castrated his father, the god Uranus, whose severed genitals fertilized the sea. Birth of Venus depicts the moment when, having emerged from the sea in a shell, Venus lands at Paphos in Cyprus. She is attended by two winds who blow her towards the shore, while a nymph is poised to wrap a cloak, decorated with spring flowers, around Venus to cover her nudity. The stance of Venus is believed to be based on classical statuary, which was highly prized in Florence at that time. Despite the strange proportions of the body - the elongated neck and her overlong left arm - Venus is an arrestingly beautiful figure with her delicate skin and soft-flowing curls fresh from the sea. She is born to the world as the goddess of beauty, and the viewer is witness to this act of creation. She steaps off a gilded scallop shell, the winds shower her with roses - each with a golden heart - and the orange blossom on the tree behind her is also tipped with gold. Historically, this is the most important depicted nude, since classical antiquity and although it was charged by the Inquisition as being a vehicle of dissemination of paganism, it was miraculously saved from the holy fires because it was inside Villa Medicea di Castello, protected under the supervision of the Medici family.

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