Uffizi Gallery Wages Battle of the Botticellis In opposition to Jean Paul Gaultier

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence is not pleased with Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Le Musée” capsule collection, a range of apparel printed with famous Renaissance paintings.

The museum is suing the brand for its “unauthorized use” of Sandro Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” currently housed at the institution. Snippets of the work appear on a tank top, pants, and dress — commercial usage that, according to Uffizi, violates Italy’s Cultural Heritage Code.


While “The Birth of Venus” is in the public domain, “the use of images under the Italian public propriety is compulsorily subjected to a specific authorization and the payment of a fee,” financial dues that Jean Paul Gaultier allegedly shirked.

According to the Florentine gallery, its legal department sent a formal notice to the brand when “Le Musée” dropped in April. The letter demanded that Jean Paul Gaultier cease sale of items featuring “The Birth of Venus” or contact the museum to hash out a commercial deal. Uffizi claimed the letter was ignored.


Jean Paul Gaultier, a brand whose DNA is entangled in the history of art and design, previously used “The Birth of Venus” in its Spring/Summer 1995 collection. A mesh top and leggings were printed with snippets of the painting, an iconic ensemble that JPG’s “La Musée” capsule was likely referencing.

Jean Paul Gaultier x “The Birth of Venus” might be a bust, but the 15th-century painting can be found on a bevy of Redbubble and Zazzle-sold wares, from tote bags to leggings. Even Fashion Nova, Aeropostale, and trend vulture Zara have turned to the work, featuring it on T-shirts and a very Vivienne Westwood-esque corset.

While Jean Paul Gaultier’s website appears to have removed the offending garments, the capsule is still available at SSENSE.

Source: Highsnobiety

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