The Medici family, the wealthiest segment of Florence during the 1500’s, commissioned Botticelli to paint the Birth of Venus for one of their many properties. It was a large painting on canvas, and tempura was used as the medium-both elements were somewhat new to painters of that time. Botticelli’s inspiration came from the ancient myth of Venus arising from the sea, being blown to shore by Zephyr, god of the winds, on a sea shell, and being greeting by Spring-ready to drape the nude Venus with a cloak decorated with spring flowers. The wind showered her with roses-according to mythology, roses bloomed for the first time when Venus was born.
Botticelli desired to present a profound sense of beauty and elegance-and that successful effort elevated him to great popularity.
P.S. Did you find what’s missing?
The roses being blown by the wind. I had never heard the myth of roses blooming upon the birth of Venus, but I love that myth and that imagery-roses with little hearts. Awwww.