Name: The Birth of Venus.
Artist: Sandro Botticelli
Location: Uffizi, Florence, Italy
Botticelli's most famous painting depicts the Goddess Venus emerging from the sea as a full grown woman, as described in Greek mythology. He painted this large for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco's Villa di Castello, around 1483, or even before. The Goddess is emerging from the water on a shell, being blown towards shore by the Zephyrs, symbols of spiritual passions, and with one of the Ores, goddesses of the seasons, who is handing her a flowered cloak. The Goddess is a symbol of pure spiritual love. Botticelli's views were considered 'pagan' by the Catholic authorities and some of his works were burned. Today we can be grateful that this sublimely beautiful work has escaped the bonfires of the Inquisition.