Comparison! Venus and Venus?? The idea of love and beauty depicted in this work of art and a piece of literature that depicts the same ideals

Sacred and Profane Love was a product of its time as it displayed many of the ideologies of the Renaissance Period.  One of the most important of these ideologies was the concept of beauty and heavy use of Greek mythology.  Much of the literature of this time period focused on a beautiful woman the the speaker of the poem could never obtain.  I believe this painting displays and celebrates such beauty.  One of the critics said that the painting depicted the earthly and supernatural Venuses.  I believe the heavenly Venus symbolizes the idea of love and beauty while the earthly Venus is the physical manifestation of the heavenly archetype.

One poem that displays such ideals of love and beauty is Edmund Spenser's "Epithalamion." The poem is packed with references to Greek mythology and uses a lot of Petrarchan Conceit.  The poem even references the heavenly Venus in comparison with the object of his love, his earthly Venus when he states:
"Some graces to be seene,
And as ye use to Venus, to her sing,
The whiles the woods shal answer and you Eccho ring" (107-109).

The poem extensively expresses the woman's beauty:

"Tell me, ye merchants daughters, did ye see
So fayre a creature in your towne before,
So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she,
Adornd with beautyes grace and vertues store?
Her goodly eyes lyke saphyres shining bright,
 Her forehead yvory white,
Her cheekes lyke apples with the sun hath rudded,
Her lips lyke cherryes charming men to byte,
Her brest like to a bowle of creame uncrudded,
 Her paps lyke lyllies budded,
Her snowie necke lyke to a marble towre,
And all her body like a pallace fayre,
Ascending uppe, with many a stately stayre,
To honors seat and chastities sweet bowre.
Why stand ye still, ye virgins, in amaze,
 Upon her so to gaze,
Whiles ye forget your former lay to sing,
To which the woods did answer, and your eccho ring" (167-184).

The artwork is a celebration of such love and beauty. Venus is the goddess of love, beauty, ad virtue and this poem perfectly captures those ideals

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