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Venus on the Half-Shell

The Birth of Venus is a tempera-on-canvas painting by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), probably around 1484. The original painting is 67.9 × 109.6 inches. It's currently hanging in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

 

It depicts the goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea as a full grown woman, arriving at the sea-shore. Venus emerges from the water on a shell, blown towards shore by the Zephyrs, symbols of spiritual passions. She is joined by one of the Horae, goddesses of the seasons, who hands her a flowered cloak. Somehow this pagan-themed painting managed to escape the fires of the Roman Catholic censors.

 

Some people believe the model is a woman named Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci, who lived in Portovenere, a town by the sea with a local tradition of being the birthplace of Venus. Simonetta is also believed to have been the model for several other women in Botticelli's other paintings. Botticelli had the hots for Simonette.

 

It looks like Venus has problems with her neck and left shoulder. She needs to see a doctor about that when she gets to shore.

 

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Taken on November 27, 2008