Venus, known as the bringer of joy, Roman goddess of love and beauty stands on a shell in the
middle of the ocean, surrounded by admirers. Two mermen use conch shells to trumpet her arrival as
the angels that came to witness her birth ascend to heaven. This painting is truly a tour de force
for Bouguereau, standing just over 9' 10" high, and just under 7'2" wide. Birth of Venus contains
22 fully worked out figures all of which come together to form an amazing composition. Bouguereau
uses the goddess, Venus, as an exemplar of the Beauty in our lives. Bouguereau's Birth of Venus
holds a strong resemblance to Botticelli's Birth of Venus, which also depicts Venus with long
flowing hair standing on a similar shell.
- by Kara Ross.