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Sandro Botticelli. The Birth of Venus. 14821486. Tempera on canvas, 172.5 x 278.5 cm. Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.
     The Birth of Venus is a painting by Sandro Botticelli. It depicts the goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea as a full grown woman, arriving at the sea-shore. Her shell is pushed to the shore from the winds produced by the Zephyr wind-gods amid a shower of roses. As the goddess is about to step on the shore, one of the Nymphs reaches out to cover her with a purple cloak.
     The painting was one of a series which Botticelli produced, taking as inspiration written descriptions by the 2nd century historian Lucian of masterpieces of Ancient Greece which had long since disappeared. The ancient painting by Apelles was called Venus Anadyomene, "Anadyomene" meaning "rising from the sea"; this title was also used for Botticelli's painting, The Birth of Venus only becoming its better known title in the 19th century.

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