Sandro Boticelli's "The Birth of Venus", 1486, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. Most paintings of women during the middle Ages symbolize the Virgin Mary, showing her in a demure appearance with an angelic smile and covered head. So Botticelli's depiction of a beautiful goddess, not only an obvious symbol of pagan mythology but also painted as a nude was groundbreaking.
Titian (Italian, ca. 1485/90?–1576) and Workshop. Venus and the Lute Player, ca. 1565–70. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Munsey Fund, 1936 (36.29) | Much has been written about the meaning of Titian's paintings of Venus. In addition to celebrating love and music (Venus pauses from making music to be crowned by Cupid), they have been thought to address the Neo-Platonic debate of seeing versus hearing as the primary means for perceiving beauty.
Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919). Madame Georges Charpentier (Marguérite-Louise Lemonnier, 1848–1904) and Her Children, Georgette-Berthe (1872–1945) and Paul-Émile-Charles (1875–1895), 1878. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1907 (07.122) #dogs