The 2nd-century AD statue that inspired this reproduction portrays Venus enfolding herself in drapery that modestly covers yet also sensuously reveals her nudity. At her feet, a dolphin supports the figure and alludes to the goddess of love’s birth from the sea. This depiction of Venus ultimately derived from an extremely popular cult statue known as the Aphrodite of Knidos, which was created by the sculptor Praxiteles about 350 BC. Indeed, Praxiteles’s innovative work was so renowned that, beginning around 100 BC, many artists produced variations on his theme of the naked Venus.
The Getty’s sculpture is a Roman interpretation of one of those Hellenistic variants. It was discovered in Rome around 1510, where it contributed to the Renaissance revival of the Classical tradition. Scholars once believed that it was owned by Cardi-nal Mazarin, advisor to Louis XIV, king of France. Although that anecdote is unlikely, the statue is still known to many as the Mazarin Venus.
- Material: Bonded Marble - Dimensions: H: 7 x W: 2 1/2 x D: 2 inches - Gift box included - Item #: MRVENUS
Source Object: Title Statue of Venus (the Mazarin Venus) Artist/Maker: Unknown Culture: Roman Place: Roman Empire Date: 2nd century A.D. Medium: Marble Object Number: 54.AA.11 Dimensions: 184 cm (72 7/16 inches)
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