Venus, the story goes, was born of the sea. She was the fruit of Uranus' amputated genitals, which fell to earth and, in their union with the sea, generated the Goddess of Love.
She hovers on a canopy of mother-of-pearl, upholstered with pink and pearl-grey silk and held up by the winds and cupids. She is attended by a court of white naiads and bronzed tritons.
Gods, dolphins, fabrics, water, clouds together make up a swirling movement which Boucher has painted in cold colours: blue and turquoise. Both composition and colours belong to the Rococo. The sea blends with a greyish-blue sky and the horizon is not easily distinguishable.