Aphrodite deconstructed: Botticelli’s 'Venus and Mars'

Date and time

Monday 19 June, 1–1.45pm

Sainsbury Wing Theatre

David Bellingham


Admission free

David Bellingham, from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, looks beyond the celebrity and familiarity of Botticelli's Venus and Mars to explore what its curious format and style might tell us about its original purpose and location.

The painting’s imagery and symbolism reveals the possibility that Botticelli and his patron intended a far more sophisticated and complex image than its modern title suggests, and that the superficially lighthearted pagan painting also held a far more serious Christian message.

Dr. David Bellingham is an art historian, author and Programme Director for the Masters Degree in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London.

Lunchtime talks

Focus in on one painting with our talks in the Gallery, or explore wider themes in the collection at our in-depth theatre talks.

Image above: Detail from Sandro Botticelli, Venus and Mars, about 1485