Botticelli’s Venus was born in Portovenere
Born in Portovenere, Simonetta Cattaneo was married to one of the Vespucci Family members, and shook the hearts of Renaissance’s Florence, ending up in one of the most famous paintings of history.
The Living Venus was born in the port of Venus, PortovenereThe beautiful Simonetta was born in the village of Fezzano , near Portovenere. Her parents were two Genoese aristocrats forced into exile in their residence on the banks of the Gulf of La Spezia (ed. according to some she was actually born in Genoa and then moved to the Gulf of Poets at a very young age along with her parents) . Among the important family’s relationships was also the Vespucci family. One of them – Marco Vespucci , a distant cousin of the explorer Amerigo Vespucci – fell in love with the Simonetta, then aged sixteen. In 1469 the two of them got married. It was an important step for the Cattaneo family, because the Vespuccis was a family of Florentine bankers, firmly tied to the powerful Medici, who ruled Florence, and this is how the incredible story of the “ living Venus” started.
The world fell in love for the Venus from La SpeziaWhen Simonetta moved to Florence, her beauty did not go unnoticed. The Tuscan city, at that time, was the center of the world and was home to a wealth of cultural and artistic ideas.
This is how a beautiful girl, thanks to her well-connected husband, ended up becoming the muse of a large number of artists: she was painted by Piero di Cosimo, Verrocchio, Ghirlandaio, Filippo Lippi and sung by poets such as Poliziano and Pulci. Even Lorenzo il Magnifico , the undisputed ruler of Florence, dedicated some verses and his brother – Giuliano De Medici – fell madly in love with her. So Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci became Sandro Botticelli’s Venus and Spring , in his two best known works.
Botticelli, forever next to his Venus
Not weaker was the transport that tied Botticelli to his muse: closely watching the works of the Renaissance painter, you will recognize Simonetta’s traits.
The artist certainly was deeply impressed by the beauty of the woman, to the point that he asked to be close to her for eternity. Among the will of Botticelli, in fact, he found a special request: to be buried at the foot of Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci, his Venus. The Vespucci family agreed, allowing the remains of the great artist to be buried in their private chapel in the church of All Saints.
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