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Fast Art

One of the most recognizable works of the Florentine Renaissance, this painting also represents a profound development in Western art

Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus is not only the first large-scale canvas of the Renaissance, its subject, an ancient goddess – and a naked one at that – is unprecedented in Western art, wherein human-form depictions had hitherto almost unerringly been of Biblical characters. Here, we see not only the birth of Venus but in many ways the birth of the High Renaissance. Venus Pudica, born fully formed, stands on a scallop shell being blown to shore by Zephyr, the Greek god of the gentle western wind, with the help of his glamorous assistant. Ashore, she will be received, and dressed, by a handmaid in springtime attire.

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About Italia!

The Dolomites are a popular summer retreat for many Italians. We’ll show you how walking takes precedence over the winter activities we usually associate with this beautiful region. We also visit the secret green spaces of Italy’s cities, perfect oases if you are taking a summer city break. And we visit Matera, a city once known as ‘the shame of Italy’ but now set to become the European Capital of Culture.