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Transcript

In keeping with the original text, the goddess Venus covers herself as she is carried to shore. She does so in the popular "Venus Pudica" pose, which simultaneously draws attention to her body and her beauty, while also protecting herself from being completely nude. This pose was highly popular during the Renaissance period, and became a symbol of Venus when portrayed on other figures. However, the text also states that she holds her hair in her other hand, which in this painting is actually attempting to cover her breasts. The reason for this change could have to do with controversy of nude figures, even though she really remains mostly nude with one breast completely exposed.

Botticelli included the some of the figures described in the original text. Here, Zephyrus, who propels Venus to shore with the power of wind, is seen holding his love Chloris. However, here, Chloris is depicted being carried by Zephyrus. The story behind these figures is complicated and reflective of the status of women in Renaissance society. After falling in love, Zephyrus kidnapped Chloris and transformed her into the goddess Flora. I believe they are depicted together because Botticelli wanted to portray them as being in love, despite the fact that Zephyrus actually abducted Chloris. Depicting them as such shows the subjugation of women during this time by relegating them to the intstitution of marriage.

In the original text, it states that there are three nymphs, but Botticelli only depicts two (in addition to Zephyrus). This could be to focus the viewer's attention on Venus, whose beauty is explicitly stated in the text and also emphasized by Botticelli's painting style. Adding another figure could potentially detract from Venus, who is obviously the focal point of this painting. It also could be argued that she represents all the seasons in one, as the text states that there are three hours present.

In the text, it states that Venus is born out of the sea foam and propelled to shore by Zephyrus. However, there is no sea foam present in this painting, and Venus is left almost completely exposed on her shell. This could be because Botticelli wanted to depict Venus's transformation and not her birth. Also, covering her in sea foam could detract from her beauty. Portraying her almost completely nude adds an element of sexuality and emphasizes her beauty, which is highlighted in the texted.

As described in the text, Venus has a non-human countenance, signifying that she is more beautiful than any mortal woman. While this style is popular in the Renaissance period, Botticelli paints Venus as an idealized, unrealistic figure. However, one could also argue that this depiction is inaccurate because it portrays mythological figures in International Gothic Style, which is characteristic of Renaissance art. This style is characterized by slender, elegant figures that do not appear realistic and are idealized to be more beautiful.