Venus Verticordia is a Pre-Raphaelite oil on canvas masterpiece created by Dante Gabriel Rossetti from 1864-68. The artwork depicts the Roman goddess Venus, who stands semi-nude in a lush, green garden surrounded by pink flowers. The painting features Venus holding a golden apple in her left hand that obscures her right breast while the left one is visible.
This painting stirred controversy due to the depiction of nudity and the use of out-of-season roses, leading to criticism from John Ruskin. Despite this, it remains an incredibly well-regarded piece with its intricate details and rich color palette. Today, it resides in the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum in England.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti was an influential British poet, illustrator, painter, and translator known for co-founding the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His knowledge of literature translated into his works through their complex allegories and symbolism. As with many other pieces from this period’s artists, Venus Verticordia harbors these same features as seen with the flowers’ choice and its location in what appears to be paradise-like gardens.
Overall, Venus Verticordia is a stunning work of art that bridges classicism and Romanticism beautifully. Its rich colors make it stand out among other Pre-Raphaelite pieces while maintaining significant meaning behind each detail showcased within it: its artist’s understanding of mythology is as evident as ever here.