Titian: Venus Anadyomene (1520)

(National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland)

Venus Anadyomene means 'Venus rising from the sea'. According to Greek mythologie, Venus was born from the sea when Cronus (leader of the Titans) cut off the genitals of his father Uranus (the personifycation of the Sky) and threw them into the sea. Venus arose from the sea foam and travelled to the coast on a scallop shell. The shell is visible in the left corner below. 'Venus Anadyomene' is a very popular subject in Western art and has inspired many great artists, for example the famous 'The Birth of Venus' by Sandro Botticelli. Titian shows Venus while she rises from the sea and is wringing her hair, either after bathing or after her birth. This painting is from around 1520.