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Roman Bronze Sculpture of Venus - X.0074
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 2 nd Century AD
Dimensions: 8.75" (22.2cm) high
Collection: Classical
Style: Roman
Medium: Bronze

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Ancient goddess of love, Venus appears before us, a beautiful bronze sculpture created by a skilled Roman artist. One of the twelve Olympians, Venus (known to the Greeks as Aphrodite) was one of the most celebrated deities of the ancients, known as the goddess of beauty, mother of love, queen of laughter, mistress of the graces and of pleasures, patroness of courtesans. Here, she stands in a slight contraposto stance with her weight resting on her left leg (now truncated at the knee). Both her arms are missing, although they would have been attached separately at the armbands just below her shoulders. It is possible that her arms could have been fabricated from a different material, such as bone or ivory, or they quite possibly could have been bronze as well.

We wonder how she would have stood originally, with her arms covering her breasts and genitalia? Maybe she held her hands outwards to receive libations? Although her original stance will remain a mystery, we can conjecture about her placement with a fair amount of certainty. Given the size and artistry of this sculpture (as well as the luxurious material), we can safely assume that this sculpture of Venus would have once stood inside a niche in a temple dedicated to the goddess. It is also just as possible that she may have served as a private votive in the residence of a wealthy Roman citizen who wished to invoke the goddess’ favor in affairs of the heart.

Her face is elegantly modeled with a head of wavy hair styled into a tiara of curls. She would have once worn earrings, likely made of gold, where only holes now remain. This marvelous bronze sculpture is a gorgeous rendering of one of the most enduring figures of the Classical age. In antiquity, this sculpture brought success in relationships to those who revered it, perhaps its amorous powers will continue to bring good fortune in love to whomever possesses it today. - (X.0074)

 

 

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