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RB1401

A Sensual Bronze figure of a Crouching Venus, Roman, ca. 27 B.C. - 14 A.D.

This graceful bronze of a nude woman, depicts Venus, the classical goddess of love and beauty, emerging from her bath, crouching down on her right knee, and, with both arms raised, she lifts the  long curly tresses of her hair to dry it, openly displaying her sensual nudity.

Background:  This most charming bronze depicts one of the most famous and revered images from Classical Antiquity: the Crouching Venus. It is known to us mostly from numerous Roman copies after the Hellenistic Greek originals.   The earliest references to a sculpture of a "crouching Venus" occur in a corrupted version of Pliny's Naturalis Historia where he describes a statue of a Venus emerging from her bath (N.H. xxxv, 35) located in the Portico of Octavia in Rome. The original is traditionally attributed to a 3rd century BC sculptor named Doidalsas, said to be from Bithynia in north-west Asia Minor.  

This sculpture went on to become one of the most popular images of the goddess from Antiquity. Especially favored by the Romans, numerous copies exist in a variety of media, including bronze. Later artists also integrated slight variations in the pose, such as the tying up of the hair, a more vigorous attempt to cover the body, etc.  

The example here can be paralleled with a small marble Crouching Venus of the 1st century BCE, discovered in Rhodes and conserved in the Rhodes Archaeological Museum.  It is a variant pose in which - instead of attempting to cover up modestly - Venus lifts her hair in her fingers to dry it, looks out at the viewer and openly displays her nudity. This type is sometimes distinguished as the Crouching Aphrodite of Rhodes.

Condition:  Some patination loss that does not detract, otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall. 

Dimensions:  Height: 3.8 cm (1.5 inches), Mounted Height: 4.9 cm (1.9 inches)

Provenance:   Private NJ collection, acquired from Antiquarium Gallery, NYC., 2000.

 

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