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The Renaissance Super Model


Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/37925259@N00/5755960316/

Simonetta Vespucci could be considered a Renaissance super model and Heidi Klun has nothing over the ageless looking Vespucci. Of course, she is no longer alive, but in her time, she held her own. Vespucci was born in a tiny village and got married at age fifteen. She only lived for seven years after her marriage, losing her life at the tender age of twenty two. She had a short lifespan, but made a noticeable impact on the Renaissance period as well as on the artists and wealthy men in that era.

Her Beginnings

Simonetta left her tiny village as a young bride, following her husband, Marco Vesupucci to his hometown in Florence, which is considered the hometown of Italian Renaissance. She became famous as the most beautiful and beloved female species in Italy. Upon arriving in Florence, Simonetta’s goddess-like beauty was captured by the incredible creative artist, Sandro Botticelli, who had masterpieces ranging from the Birth of Venus to Primavera. Botticelli became known as a well-known artist in Florence, but he had not yet stumbled upon his muse until the pretty Simonetta arrived next door. Some believe that Botticelli created the Birth of Venus to pay homage to Simonetta. Whether that is true or not, we don’t know. Anyway, if she wasn’t anyone else’s Venus, she was Botticelli’s. He fell in love with the beautiful Simonetta and painted her as she often posed for him in the nude. Many of the artist’s masterpieces were based on her graceful neck, straight nose and beautiful golden hair. Even after she died, Botticelli still painted her.

Her Influence

Many other artists painted her while she was alive. In fact, she was known as the Renaissance counterpart of Marilyn Monroe, even though, she was a married woman. She was lavished with gifts from obsessed noblemen in the area. She became an enchantment to the entire Florence population and possibly the entire Italian region. Her delicate beauty had a strong impact on Florence artists and became the measurable standard for beauty, influencing known artists such as Michelangelo.

Her Rise to Fame

Simonetta’s rise to recognition and eminence was not only because of her beauty, but also her connections with the Medicis who were powerful Renaissance brothers with wealthy backgrounds. She met them through her connection with Botticelli. One of the Medici brothers purchased the Birth of Venus nude painting of Simonetti done by Botticelli and hung it in his bed chambers.


With all that notoriety that Simonetta enjoyed, it was not to last for long. She was stricken with a lung disease and never recovered, dying of consumption to the dismay of all her admirers. However, she made a mark in the Renaissance period as women today are trying to emulate her attire and even her disposition at the many Renaissance fairs held each year around the world.  

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