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The Woman Who Was Botticelli's Venus

Who was this woman who has captivated admirers for centuries since Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli placed her in the center of The Birth of Venus? Her name was Simonetta Vespucci. She was popularly celebrated as one of the greatest beauties and personalities of her age. Messy Nessy Chic tells us about her famous life:

History has seen many great muses. But Simonetta reached some next-level celebrity in both life and death as a woman who didn’t just look like the Venus, but totally embodied and, ultimately, transcended her. Even Simonetta’s biography has become inseparable from the Venus’ origin story: It begins on the rocky shores of Porto Venere (literally, “Venus Harbor”), where Simonetta was born in 1453 – a rather serendipitous fact, considering the Romans believed it was also where the Venus was born from the waves. Some historians say Simonetta might’ve come from the city proper of Genoa, but others stick to Porto Venere on the Ligurian Coast. Especially given the glowing declaration of a Florentine poet named Politian that there “in that stern Ligurian district up above the seacoast, where angry Neptune beats against the rocks…There, like Venus, [Simonetta] was born among the waves.”

Photo: Le Galerie Delgi Uffizi


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