Thoughts on Venus
Zak and I often have our most absorbing and creative conversations whilst I am dressing to go to school. A couple of mornings ago we were discussing the female nude in painting, in art. We concluded that sensuality and eroticism were part of life, and not wrong "per se" for an artist to portray. Consider Song of Songs. God made sexuality and He made all things good. We compared the faceless woman-as-object of some of the Pop artists to the woman-as-embodiment-of-ideals of the Renaissance.
M2M Issue 2 October 1992, p.76
By the time I had finished the last molar, I was convinced that this painting I had loved since I was a little girl, was a pictorial sermon, clearer than I had ever heard in words, on the mystery of being born again.
Venus is the Fruit of the Spirit, born out of the sea, wafted ashore by the wind. More verses: "unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). "Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me." (John 13:8). Both the Greek and the Hebrew words for Spirit also mean Breath and Wind.
The fruit, born of the water of the living Word, is borne by Spirit to earth, to Adam (Hebrew for ground, earth, soil), there to be clothed with corruptible flesh: " All men are like grass, and all their glory like the flowers of the field the flowers fall" (1Peter 1:24). It cannot be coincidence that Venus, the Fruit, is about to be wrapped in a flowered cloak? Treasure into earthen vessel.
I took the thought a step further, getting very excited: Venus is the fruit of the Spirit. The mature, perfect fruit. To confirm the idea, another thought popped into my head: "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3). At the moment of re-birth by the Holy Spirit we have the whole Spirit. From then on, we work out what God works in us.
I was brushing my teeth, visualizing Botticelli's Birth of Venus, and listing the virtues that her lovely form and face express to me, when I realised that my list sounded a whole lot like Galatians 5:22-23 "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."
No wonder I have always shuddered at the thought that had poor, misguided Botticelli been able to lay his hands on it, after Savonarola's bitter imprecations against art, he would have burnt it, together with his other "un-Christian" canvases. How many Savonarolas have stifled or caused the destruction of great works of art by God-fearing artists? Franky Schaeffer said that the Florentines had the good sense to get rid of Savonarola. How long before we come to our senses and rejoice in our creative gifts instead of fearing the judgement and censorship of the "Christian" community? If Jesus is Lord of all, He IS Lord of all, even of Greek myth. Even the Pagan knee shall bow.