Venus Rising

Statuette of Aphrodite (Venus)Statuette of Aphrodite (Venus) Venus Rising from the Sea (Venus Anadyomene)Venus Rising from the Sea (Venus Anadyomene) Venus Rising from the Sea ('Venus Anadyomene')Venus Rising from the Sea ('Venus Anadyomene') Venus and CupidVenus and Cupid The TubThe Tub The Birth of VenusThe Birth of Venus La Représentation [Representation]La Représentation [Representation] Bather Wringing her HairBather Wringing her Hair Venus Anadyomene (after Titian)Venus Anadyomene (after Titian)

Greek (Hellenistic)

Statuette of Aphrodite (Venus)
3rd century BC
The term 'Hellenistic' is applied to a period of ancient history starting after the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BC. It is also used to describe a new style of art produced at roughly the same time. Earlier art tended to be a bit stiff and stylised, but over time it had become increasingly naturalistic. Nude statues of Aphrodite became particularly popular during the Hellenistic period. Many of these female nudes appear to have been made with a male viewer in mind and to provoke sexual desire. This erotic subtext may also lie behind this beautiful little ancient sculpture.
  • Medium Bronze
  • Size 26cm
  • Location The British Museum, London
© British Museum

Venus

In ancient Roman myths, Venus was the goddess of love, beauty and fertility. The ancient Greeks called her Aphrodite. Venus was said to have been born fully grown in the sea and blown ashore - naked - on a scallop shell.