The Day Brightener

Because everyone has the right to be truly free and happy

The Birth of Venus

Here is the next addition to the Day Brightener  Gallery – The Birth of Venus by Botticelli (c.1486).  Thank you Leanne for nominating this one.

In this painting, Venus is shown as a beautiful and chaste goddess and symbol of the coming spring. She erges from the sea upon a shell in accordance with the myth that explains her birth. Her shell is pushed to the shore from the winds produced by the Zephyr wind-gods amid a shower of roses. As the goddess is about to step on the shore, one of the Nymphs reaches out to cover her with a purple cloak. This painting is among the most treasured masterpieces of the Renaissance. (Source:

I love this painting firstly, for its energy.  Many aspects of Botticelli’s Venus are in motion which creates a lovely flowing feeling: the leaves of the orange trees in the background, ringlets of hair being blown about by the Zephyrs, roses sprinkled throughout the atmosphere, the waves tossing gently, and the cloaks and drapery of the figures blown and lifted by the breeze.

But mostly, I find this painting inspirational because of the sheer beauty it captures.   It was Plato that argued contemplation of physical beauty allowed humans to appreciate and connect with spiritual beauty.

For this reason, The Birth of Venus is a wonderful reminder of the wondrous and enduring beauty both around us and within us.

“He who has learned to see the beautiful in due order and succession, when he comes toward the end will suddenly perceive a nature of wondrous beauty  – a nature which in the first place is everlasting, not growing and decaying, or waxing and waning.

Beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may.”

Plato, The Symposium, 212


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This entry was posted on March 13, 2011 by in Day Brightener Art and tagged , , , , .
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