ROMAN BRONZE STATUE OF VENUS
Measurements: height (stand included) – 25.5 cm
Description: A superbly preserved bronze statue of goddess Venus (Greek Aphrodite). Original bronze stand. The goddess is standing in contrapposto position with her left leg slightly bent, she is proportional, likely coinciding with High and Late Classical 1:7 or 1:8 (head to body) canon. In her left hand she is holding an apple and in her right a mirror. Her head is slightly tilted towards the mirror, she has long hair, which falls over her shoulders in curls, arranged in a High Classical manner and with an interesting bow she wears on many famous marble statues preserved, the most famous type being Aphrodite of Knidos. This statue is exquisite and of high quality modelled on Greek examples of 4th cent. BC Aphrodite and visible influence of Classical period in Greek art. Facial features are idealized; she is not embodying a mortal woman. Venus is a goddess of beauty and love, a mothering figure for Roman people and especially Julian dynasty. She is famous for her affair with Mars and her vanity, thus, the mirror in her hand. In art she tends to be depicted while she is adorning herself: bathing, putting on slippers and looking at her reflection in the mirror or her lovers’ shield. The apple in her hand is reminiscent of the mythological story of the Judgement of Paris frequently portrayed in art. Young Paris had to give a golden apple to the most beautiful goddess – the competition were Hera and Athena offering him various riches – but he chose Aphrodite. She offered him the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Troy, which ultimately sparked the Trojan War.
Reference: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Provenance: Ex Lennox Galleries, London, ex David Strong collection, London, 2005, ex. L. Grenacs, Brussels, 1967.
The item is accompanied with an Art Loss Register certificate.
Period: 3rd cent. AD
Condition: Extremely fine, deep green patina covers the entire surface. The apple and the mirror re-attached in professional restoration.