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The Historical Context of the Birth of Venus

            Sandro Botticelli's 'The Birth of Venus was painted during the period spanning 1482 up to 1485. This piece of art happens to be the most famous artwork done by Sandro Botticelli. Venus is depicted as a long haired nude woman that drifts from the famous artworks of the period where nudity was not normally done and its divergence from the norm also appears to push it into fame. This is because having being painted on canvas; it represents art work that is associated with the Renaissance Period. In the painting, Venus an adult woman appears to be arriving to the shores of the Island of Cyprus riding on sea foam as she stands on a shell after being born out on sea. Venus stands while covering her genitals with her long hair and her left arm. She is being blown onto land by two Zephyrus floating in the air to her left, one male and the other female clutched in an embrace. These two Zephyrus create a breeze that lifts Venus's hair creating an effect of motion in the painting1. Towards her right, the goddess of spring Pomona is awaiting her with a mantle decorated with flowers for Venus to wear upon arriving on shore. The mantle is also shown to be billowing in the breeze created by the breeze that is propelling Venus to shore. The patronage of this painting by Sandro Botticelli appears to have been from the Medici family while its theme is also directly borrowed from Angelo Poliziano's poem Stanze per la Giostra written specifically for the Medici2.
             Due to the period that the painting was made, it is believed that the patronage of Sandro Botticelli's 'Birth of Venus' must have been through the powerful Medici family which was very influential and powerful during this period. This is because nudity in art was not a common phenomenon in this Christianity era and the fact that it was allowed to be created to completion without the criticism of the Catholic Church or society shows that powerful individuals must have been behind the patronage of the Classical Myth art piece3.

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