Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Venus Project

Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano has recreated some of the world's most famous artwork using Photoshop to 'edit' the female figures to fit a modern ideal of the female form.

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.

Titian's Venus of Urbino.

All images courtesy of Anna Utopia Giordano.


  1. Dislike. Botticelli has always been my favourite artist. I spent ages in the Uffizi gallery in Florence. I loved the originals - things should always be in their true form.

  2. But don't you think it's an interesting project as a comment on the changed percetions of teh idea female body type? The women in the new version fit almost exactly into a modern ideal, though sadly I think they could probably be even skinnier.


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