Revealing Venus

Last week I let a stranger look down my pants. I was at a meeting where a lady complimented my pants and asked where I bought them. I couldn’t remember, nor did I remember the brand, so in a moment of embarrassing boldness I solved the problem: “Here! See if you can read the label!” Thusly, I pulled the back of my pants open for her to peek in.

I’m certain she wasn’t that curious about the pants. But she politely looked and noted the label.

That’s nothing compared to some of the world’s most famous paintings. Here is a favorite that exposes more than just lower back, tops of undies, while still maintaining some modesty.

The Birth of Venus. The birth of seashells as modes of transportation.

Have I already posted about this picture? It seems like I would have by now. Venus is being blown ashore by a couple lesser gods in her seashell, which is also how I like to arrive places. Botticelli painted this for someone in the Medici family (but who?! We just don’t know.) We do know it was likely painted to be hung over a marital bed, which is how Botticelli got away with the scandal of painting a naked woman. It actually wasn’t seen by the public for 50 years after he painted it. 

Not to harp on the nudity, but it really was scandalous for its time. Botticelli had other controversial paintings, but burned them with his own two hands when Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola guilted him into it. I’m so thankful The Birth of Venus was spared. I’m also thankful Savonarola wasn’t at my meeting last week.

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