The Birth of Venus: Life Imitates Art

Simonetta Sancristoforo Cattaneo is the last living descendant of the Venus of Botticelli. She is a Gallery Manager in London.

Venus is an icon of beauty and femininity, she is a goddess that is alive. The Birth of Venus is a painting by Italian artist Sandro Boticelli in the mid – 1480s. The image displays the goddess Venus arriving at the shore after her birth as the legend states that she had emerged from the sea fully grown (Venus Anadyomene meaning “Venus rising from the sea” in Greek). Venus is also known as Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and passion.

This painting by Botticelli is available to view by the public at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Boticelli’s model did not pose for this painting nude, nor did she pose for this painting at all, she had passed away. It’s rumored that Simonetta Cattaneo inspired much of his art, even after her passing.

Simonetta Vespucci (Cattaneo) lived from 1453 – 1476. Boticelli painted his famous painting in the mid – 1480s.

The meaning of the famous Venus painting has endured through the centuries. It remains relevant after more than 500 years; by all means, this painting and its goddess is alive. In this case, life imitates art.

Models often pose like Venus for photo shoots. Above is model Candice Huffine posing for Harper’s Bazaar and below is model Emily Ratajkowski for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.
Birth of Venus iPhone cases are quite popular and sold on Amazon.
A 1992 copy of The New Yorker.

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