Through out the history of art, there are many artists that used Greek mythology in their paintings. Many of them painted the goddess Venus. She was an earthy goddess who aroused humans to physical love or she was a heavenly goddess who inspired intellectual love in them. Plato used to argue that physical beauty allowed people to understand spiritual beauty so that is the reason why she is painted to often because she was supposed to be the most beautiful goddess.
The Birth of Venus is a painting done by Sandro Botticelli in 1486. He was commissioned to paint the work by the Medici family of Florence. His painting of Venus portrays the goddess having come forth from the sea as a fully-grown woman and shows her arriving at the sea-shore. In the painting Botticelli represent the neoplatonic idea of divine love and does it in the form of the nude Venus. In the painting Botticelli does not use ideal proportions but elongates the neck and torso. He also does not have shadows cast from the other figures in the image, which makes the image fantastical. The painting is so famous that it has become a landmark of Italian painting. His use of line and drawing is really unique and the painting was one of the first examples in Tuscany of a painting on canvas. The birth of Venus is probably one of my favorite Venus paintings and is very inspirational and beautiful. Alexandre Cabanel's painting of Venus is also titled "The Birth of Venus". His painting was painted in 1863 and is now located in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, France. The painting was purchased by Napoleon III and placed in his personal collection. Cabanel's image of Venus is slightly more erotic than Botticelli's. His style is quit different because he was an impressionist’s painter. Typically this kind of eroticism in painting would cause problems in the public but since it was a mythological theme is was more accepted. The image of Venus looks like she is in a sort of daze or waking up from a dream to represent her birth. She is laying across the ocean and sprawled out which is why the image is more erotic. The Italian painter Titian painted the Venus of Urbino in 1538. It depicts the goddess Venus as a nude woman lying across some sort of couch or bed. Titians portrait of Venus is based off of his teacher Giorgione's "Sleeping Venus". Titians differs from Giorgione's because he domesticates her by moving her to an indoor setting and engaging her with the viewer because she is staring straight at you when you look at the painting. The painting is very erotic in the sense that she is laying on a bed staring at you not seemed to be concerned about her nudity at all. The painting was commissioned by Guidobaldo II della Rovere, the Duke of Urbino and is located in Uffizi, Florence. The painting represents the allegory of marriage and was supposed to remind the woman of the marital obligations that she was required to fulfill to her husband. The lighting of the figure is really warm which makes the image more erotic because the body contrasts to the dark background, which makes the viewer, notice it more. The Venus in Titians is not representing her birth but showing her has a symbol of love, beauty, and fertility. Venus with the organ player is another painting of the goddess Venus done by Titian. The painting was completed in 1549 and is located in Berlin, Germany. It is painted in the Mannerist style and is oil on canvas. The image shows Venus laying across a couch next to an organist who is gazing at her and a cupid that is reaching for her left breast. The painting is very interment in the way that Venus and cupid are looking at each other. The lighting that titian uses in the painting seems to be around the afternoon. The painting is part of a set of four different paintings of Venus with a different type of Musician. Each musician is playing a different instrument. This is the second painting of the four. There is also a dog in the corner of this painting that is meant to symbolize fertility. The use of these paintings was to symbolize that love is heard and not seen. The artist Correggio also portrays Venus with cupid. This painting differs from the Titian painting because the Venus figure is standing up and the cupid is not on her but standing next to her. The painting is done with oil painted on canvas. Venus again is portrayed with red cloak, which seems to be a popular color choice for cloth with the goddess. There are two doves at her feet and cupid is reading something next to her. This painting is less erotic that the others and is more a representation of the classical nude. She is staring at the viewer like the titian Venus but it is less erotic.