from the studio of Egregia, Volterra, Italy and by A. Santini from ISAC Statue, Italy
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large picture may have been, like the Primavera, painted for
Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici's Villa di Castello, around
1482, or even before. Some scholars suggest that the Venus painted
for Lorenzo and mentioned by Giorgio Vasari may have been a different
work, now lost. Whatever inspired the artist, there are clear
similarities to Ovid's Metamorphoses and Fasti, as well as to
Poliziano's Verses. Simonetta is also believed to have been the
model for Venus in this painting.
The classical goddess Venus emerges from the water on a shell, blown towards shore by the Zephyrs, symbols of spiritual passions. She is joined by one of the Horae, goddesses of the seasons, who hands her a flowered cloak.
The anatomy of Venus and various subsidiary details do not display the strict classical realism of Leonardo da Vinci or Raphael. Most obviously, Venus has an improbably long neck, and her left shoulder slopes at an anatomically unlikely angle. Some have suggested it prefigures mannerism.