Analogue Art: Botticelli, Mars, Venus, and Naomi


What do Sandro Botticelli and Naomi Campbell have in common? If you’re thinking the answer is nothing then I'm afraid you’re wrong. But you can easily find out what it is after the jump.

Sandro Botticelli self-portrait from The Adoration of the Magi via

This man here is Sandro Botticelli. He was an Italian painter born sometime around 1445. In 1475 he included this portrait of himself in a painting of the Adoration of the Magi. About ten years later he’d paint The Birth of Venus, his most famous piece, and this painting of Mars and Venus:

Botticelli, Sandro, Venus and Mars c. 1485 Egg tempera and oil on poplar 69 × 173.5 cm National Gallery, London via

What he probably didn’t know back then is that this other man here, approximately 500 years later, would take both tableaux and reinterpret them.

David LaChapelle on one of his sets via

Born in 1963, American photographer David LaChapelle has given the world many an image bursting with colour. He’s shot everyone from Pamela Anderson to Uma Thurman to Elton John and Kurt Cobain. His often ‘outrageous’ images include bombastically kitsch sets and naked bodies.

As a matter of fact, he’s shot Naomi Campbell in the nude several times but in the case of here, in his Rape of Africa, 2007, true to the original Mars and Venus by Botticelli, she is clothed.

David LaChapelle RAPE OF AFRICA 2007 via

In the case of the Birth of Venus, again true to the original, it is quite the opposite and both females are pretty much flaunting their birthday suits and not making much of a fuss about it.

Botticelli, Sandro The Birth of Venus c. 1485 Tempera on canvas 172.5 × 278.5 cm (67 7/8 × 109 5/8 in.) Uffizi, Florence via
David LaChapelle BIRTH OF VENUS 2009 via

What do you think? Which of the two do you prefer? Do you stick to the originals or the contemporary versions? Personally I think I’d go for the 15th century ones but what are your views?

More on David LaChapelle can be found either on or on

written by webo29 on 2012-01-30 in #lifestyle #painting #david-lachapelle #naomi-campbell #sandro-botticelli #colour #kitsch #art

One Comment

  1. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    maybe we just have to wait for another 500 years and see witch one of the two's still in vogue :)
    personally I like Botticelli more than the kitchy LaChapelle

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