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Photos: Italian model Bianca Balti goes nude for a photo shoot

She has carved a successful career in modelling thanks to her sensational bikini body – and was even selected as one of Sports Illustrated’s Rookies for their 2017 Swimsuit Issue. But Bianca Balti dared to bare all and show off her body in all its glory on Wednesday, as she stripped naked for a beach photo shoot, inspired by Sandro Botticelli’s famous The Birth of Venus painting, in Cannes, France. The Italian model, 33, saucily flashed her nipples for all to see as she rid herself of clothes and draped herself across an inflatable shell for the shoot – sexily protecting her modesty with nothing but a straw hat across her chest. The brunette beauty was the picture of confidence as she stripped to her birthday suit to shoot in the sunshine, leaving almost all of her stunning and womanly figure on show.

Clasping onto a straw sun hat to prevent her from fully flashing, Bianca then lifted her chest to the sun as she gracefully posed – openly displaying her nipples and ample cleavage, as well as plenty of her smooth skin, to all. The stunner’s enviably leggy figure then stole attention as she leaned over on one hip while perching on the shell, with her long and lean pins folded neatly beside her as she gazed out to sea. Leaving her tresses in their loose waves and sporting minimal make-up for the project, the Lombardy native proved her natural and effortless beauty as she giggled with her photographer throughout the day. Posing in the underwater object with a pearl lying beside her, the star was clearly emulating Sandro Botticelli’s 15th-century work The Birth of Venus, which currently resides in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

The famous painting depicts the goddess Venus emerging from the sea as a fully-grown woman, and being blown to shore by god of wind Zephyr – where she is then greeted by the minor goddess the Hora of Spring, who provides her with a cloak to dress her for the world. Bianca hit headlines earlier this year, after she was announced as one of the nominees in Sports Illustrated’s Rookies of the Year category in their 2017 Swimsuit Issue, alongside Lais Ribeiro and Mia Kang. However despite coming onto the scene for many back in February, the Italian-born stunner isn’t at all new to modelling – having kicked off her career while studying web and graphic design at university over a decade ago.

‘I was very naughty,’ she explained to the magazine. ‘That’s the reason I didn’t go very much to the university, because I was partying with my friends more than going to the university. When I found this job [as a model], my mom was so relieved.’ She had been promoting an Italian shampoo company when she got scouted at age 20, and went on to work for big names such as Dolce & Gabbana and L’Oréal. With her career going from strength to strength, she has since appeared in editorial spreads for magazines including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and W, and designer brands like Roberto Cavalli, Donna Karan, Christian Dior, Valentino, Armani Jeans, Missoni, and lingerie brand La Perla.

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However, she is sure to split her time between her glamorous life in the fashion industry, and her life at home as a doting mother of two children. Bianca welcomed her first daughter Matilde in 2007 with then-husband Christian Lucidi, but the pair split in 2010 after a four-year relationship. The brunette beauty then went on to find love with current boyfriend Matthew McRae, and the couple welcomed her second daughter Mia in 2015. The family now split their time between Spain and California. While she is now known in the industry for her killer figure, Bianca admitted to Fox earlier this year that she had to work hard to maintain her figure – especially after giving birth to her two kids.

She explained: ‘When I was pregnant with my second baby I almost gained 50 pounds… I enjoyed my pregnancy, but then I had to lose the weight for work. I had contracts and I had to get back in shape immediately. ‘It took me some time. But I’ve never felt so empowered like I did when I got back in shape because, besides feeling good about my body, it’s just empowering to set a goal and make it happen.’ Despite feeling less confident in pregnancy, Bianca certainly did not slow down her career – having famously stormed down the runway for Dolce & Gabbana while pregnant during the AW17 Milan Fashion Week.

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The star had showed off her baby bump in a stunning pink dress during the show, which celebrated motherhood as its theme by featuring four more pregnant models, and using the Spice Girls hit Mama as its backing track. Bianca is not the only celebrity in recent weeks to emulate the famous painting – with Beyoncé producing her own version of the snap in February in a photo shoot to announce her pregnancy. The snap showcased the topless singer with her hand on her left breast and hair falling to her belly button, eerily reminiscent of the 15th century work which shows the love goddess on a half shell, hiding her right breast with her left hand and her crotch with her long hair.

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