Birth of Venus 317 by Andy Warhol is part of the artist’s Details of the Renaissance portfolio, in which he takes masterpieces from the Renaissance era and appropriates them with a pop art spin. Warhol created four screenprints depicting the birth of Venus, which are based on the famous Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. Although Botticelli’s original work of Venus has an elaborate background with her full body, Warhol chose to focus on her face and flowing hair. In this particular print, Warhol uses darker hues of purple and orange against blue and pink highlight to emphasize the subject’s features.
Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1482 as Part of Andy Warhol’s Larger Body of Work
Birth of Venus 317 is an allegorical image of the Roman Goddess of love and beauty emerging from the sea, which is a common theme seen in ancient and classical art. Most famously, Botticelli created this painting after he was commissioned by the famed Medici family. The scene is said to be an interpretation of a poem by Angelo Poliziano. As with his Marilyn series, Warhol adds brilliant colors to his images of the Roman goddess, provoking thought on the ancient ideals of female beauty as they relate to beauty in the modern world.