Botticelli’s first painting of a non-religious subject was Fortitude, 1470. It’s considered his first masterpiece. He then explored other stories like The Return of Judith to Bethulia from the Old Testament and St Sebastian, an early Christian saint and martyr, his first truly SEXY painting. He then turned to the stories from Greco-Roman antiquity and the poetry of his friend Poliziano for inspiration, leading his way to painting his own version of Apelles’ ‘Aphrodite Anadyomene‘, The Birth Of Venus.