William-Adolphe Bouguereau: The Birth of Venus (1879)


(Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France)

A famous painting by the French artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905). Although the title of the painting is the birth of Venus, the painting actually shows a 'Venus Anadyomene (Greek for "Venus Rising From the Sea") with the fully grown Venus being transported after her birth to Paphos in Cyprus. Venus is standing in a typical contrapposto position on a scallop shell which is pulled by a dolphin (a symbol of Venus). Scattered around Venus are putti, sea nymphs and Ichthyocentaurs (sea-centaurs) who are signaling the arrival of Venus by blowing into Conch shells. Painting from 1879.


Another painting with the same subject: Sandro Botticelli - The birth of Venus (1483)

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