Botticelli's Birth of Venus is particularly striking in how she has lost her belly and gained abs, a tiny waist and toned legs.
Botticelli's Birth of Venus.
Richard Westall's The Power of Venus seems to have retained her curves but is a much more defined hourglass.
Richard Westall The Power of Venus.
I think this is a particularly interesting project in light of the continuing debate surrounding women's body image and portrayal in the media. In our modern times where the ideal has switched from curvaceous and feminine to fit and slim; where models are all size 2, 'plus sized' models are heralded when they should be the norm; where Christina Hendricks, Sophia Vergara and Dame Helen Mirren are among the few women celebrated for their curves; obesity rates are rising and somewhere in all the mess is the ordinary women wanting to feel fit and confident within herself.
The Venus Project is a beautiful but simple diagram of the changing shape of the 'ideal beauty'. Personally I think the paintings loose something as the women loose their luxurious sensuality.
All images courtesy of Anna Utopia Giordano.