Ricardo Celma Venus 

This painting, "Venus", is in now the private collection of the Art Appreciation Foundation.  It is by noted Argentinean artist Ricardo Celma.  It features his two daughters standing in front of Botticelli's "Birth of Venus".  This 48" x 71" oil on canvas was done in about 2001, and is catalog number 2017 in the Art Appreciation Foundation collection.  It was acquired directly from the artist.

Ricardo Celma PintandoRicardo Celma, born in Buenos Aires in 1975, showed his artistic talent as early as 1981 when he was 5 years old.  He has studied with Susana Mármol (1981-1982), Marcelo Plaza (1982-1983), José Alberto Marchi (1983-1985, 1990-1991), Claudio Barragán (1985-1986, 1989), Julio Barragán (1989), Carlos Fels (1991-1992), and Alejandro Boim (1997, scholarship for studies at La Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes).  He graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredón, where he studied from 1994-1998.  His title obtained from these studies is Profesor Nacional de Pintura.  He then graduated from the Instituto Universitario Nacional de Arte.  I.U.N.A. (2000-2002), where he obtained the title Licenciado en Artes Visuales.

Here is a list of some of his most recent expositions:

Ricardo Celma Pintando2004 - ArteClásica Buenos Aires
- ARTEXPO New York

2003
- ARTEXPO New York
- Feria de Arte de Shangay
- Feria de Arte de Ginebra
- Muestra de Arte Latinoamericano Canadá
- Galería de Arte Lincoln Center Art Gallery (Miami Beach, Fl.)
- Fundación DISCAR - Buenos Aires Design
- ARTE CÓRDOBA 2002
- Feria de Arte ARTE BA
- Feria de Arte de Barcelona
- ExpoTrastienda

Many people who see this work by Celma ask to know about the original painting, "The Birth of Venus". It was painted by Sandro Botticelli (1446-1510), who was among the Florentine artists of the second half of the fifteenth century.  This is one of his most famous pictures, which represents not a Christian legend but a classical myth.

Ricardo Celma Birth of VenusThis painting was done about 1485-86 for the villa of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici at Castello; Tempera on canvas, 172.5 x 278.5 cm; now in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence. 

This work was painted onto canvas, which was a less expensive painting surface than the wooden panels used in church and court pictures.  A wooden surface would certainly be impractical for a work on such a scale.  Canvas is known to have been the preferred material for the painting of non-religious and pagan subjects that were sometimes commissioned to decorate country villas in 15th-century Italy.

Here is an explanation of some of the figures in the original painting:

Upper-Left: The West Wind

Zephyr and Chloris fly with limbs entwined as a twofold entity: the ruddy Zephyr (his name is Greek for "the west wind'') is puffing vigorously; while the fair Chloris gently sighs the warm breath that wafts Venus ashore.  All around them fall roses--each with a golden heart--which, according to legend, came into being at Venus' birth.

Upper-Right: The Wooded Shore

The trees form part of a flowering orange grove--corresponding to the sacred garden of the Hesperides in Greek myth--and each small white blossom is tipped with gold.  Gold is used throughout the painting, accentuating its role as a precious object and echoing the divine status of Venus.  Each dark green leaf has a gold spine and outline, and the tree trunks are highlighted with short diagonal lines of gold.

Right: Nymph

The nymph may well be one of the three Horae, or "The Hours'', Greek goddesses of the seasons, who were attendants to Venus.  Both her lavishly decorated dress and the gorgeous robe she holds out to Venus are embroidered with red and white daisies, yellow primroses, and blue cornflowers--all spring flowers appropriate to the theme of birth.  She wears a garland of myrtle--the tree of Venus--and a sash of pink roses, as worn by the goddess Flora in Botticelli's Primavera.

Center: The Shell

Botticelli portrays Venus in the very first suggestion of action, with a complex and beautiful series of twists and turns, as she is about to step off her giant gilded scallop shell onto the shore.  Venus was conceived when the Titan Cronus castrated his father, the god Uranus--the severed genitals falling into the sea and fertilizing it.  Here what we see is actually not Venus' birth out of the waves, but the moment when, having been conveyed by the shell, she lands at Paphos in Cyprus.

The Art Appreciation Foundation is a not-for profit organization, funded privately. It's collection of over 3,600 works of art is loaned to many museums for exhibitions, and donated to many charities for Benefit Art Fairs internationally.


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