The birth of Venus,

by Sandro Botticellii



Tempera on canvas

172,5 cm x 278,5 cm

Uffizi Gallery, Florence


The first great representation of the goddess Venus naked since the Roman era presents itself to the viewer with a grace and delicacy that seems not of this world. The goddess of love is propelled towards the

towards the shore by the combined blowing of Zephyr and Aura, the gods of the wind and the breeze respectively, here amorously entwined.


On the shore awaits one of the goddesses of the seasons, known as the Hours, who, by her floral dress, we can identify as Spring. She holds out her robe towards Venus to cover her pale nakedness.


The charm Botticelli deploys in this canvas continues to captivate us every bit as much as that of the other great work on a mythological theme painted by the Florentine artist, Spring.


But beyond the sinuousness of the drawing, the gentleness of the palette, the elegance of the figures and the exquisiteness of the robes and locks of hair stirred by the wind, is there some compositional key which can explain this display of harmony and musicality?