(b. 1445, Firenze, d. 1510, Firenze)

The Birth of Venus (detail)

c. 1485
Tempera on canvas
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

The high modelling of the white shimmering flesh colour gives Venus the appearance of a statue. Botticelli has gone over the contours with a black line, causing them to stand out sharply from the surface of the picture and lending them a curious coldness and clarity.

The subject of the painting, which celebrates Venus as symbol of love and beauty, was perhaps suggested by the poet Agnolo Poliziano.