Birth of Venus, 1482) represents the face of the goddess Venus. This piece was made in
1984 as a depiction of the face of Venus from the earlier painting The Birth of Venus by
Sandro Botticelli that was completed in 1482. The piece’s present location is the
Arkansas Arts Center, and its original location is the Andy Warhol Museum in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The piece is acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, and it can only
be seen from one side because it is hanging on the wall.
The work is a colorful representation of the face of the goddess Venus as depicted
earlier in The Birth of Venus by Botticelli. However, Warhol uses more colors in his
work. Venus’s face and neck are pink while her hair is black, red, orange, and yellow. In
contrast, the background is a solid light blue color. In Details of Renaissance Paintings,
Venus’s face and hair are emphasized and the dominant elements are her hair because of
the warm colors and her gaze.
Warhol uses implied lines to direct viewers’ eyes around the artwork. The
implied lines are the strands of Venus’s hair that direct viewers’ eyes to the right bottom,
middle, and top because the strands are going in each of these directions. One bundle of
hair goes down to the bottom of the piece on the left side close to her face. This bundle
of hair brings some direction to the left side, but not a lot because the left side is mostly
empty. However, this emptiness is balanced asymmetrically by Venus’s gaze toward the
bottom left corner and the light color used in the empty space. The light color of the
empty space is visually light; therefore, it does not have as much weight as the darker,
warmer colors of Venus’s fac...
... middle of paper ...
...is at the top of the artwork. All
of these bundles are curvy to suggest movement as if her hair is being blown gently by
Warhol’s use of colors gives Venus a modern look instead of the traditional white
color used in The Birth of Venus that symbolized purity. The pink color used for her
body makes Venus seem bold and strong, not just beautiful, as a female goddess should
be. Warhol further shows this by only depicting her face down to her shoulders and not
including her breasts and other sensual parts that are included in The Birth of Venus.
Through his use of color, Warhol created a different symbol of boldness and strength for
Venus instead of the traditional symbol of beauty. This boldness and strength coincides
with the role of women in modern society because women today are taught that they can
accomplish anything and everything while being independent.
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