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The Birth of Venus (Uffizi Gallery), painting by Sandro Botticelli (1444-1510)
Botticelli was a great colorist and master of rhythmic line. The painting of the Birth of Venus has a complex allegorical meaning. It recognizes the triumph of reason over brute force. Botticelli was a favorite of the Medici family in Florence and was influenced by their Neoplatonic circle. This genre promoted Latin and Greek classics and humanism. Botticelli suffered a decline in popularity from the rise of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and the last ten years of his life are a mystery. -- Stephen Contrado, B.A., Th.M.