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)

Antonio Lombardo about 1458-1516

Venus Rising from the Sea (Venus Anadyomene)
1508-16
Representations of the goddess of love wringing her hair may have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures (anadyomene is the Greek word for rising). The subject was also central to a famous lost painting by Apelles, the most celebrated painter of ancient Greece. Reflecting its debt to such ancient sources, this Renaissance Venetian carving is inscribed with a Latin tag. It means: "Naked Venus wrings spray from her hair". This tag leaves us in no doubt as to the sculpture's subject matter. This is useful, because the goddess's symbolic scallop shell (partly hidden by her left foot) is even less obvious than the one in Titian's picture.
  • Medium Marble relief
  • Size 40.6 x 25.1 cm
  • Location London, Victoria & Albert Museum
© Victoria & Albert Museum
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  • © Victoria & Albert Museum

Beauty

Books of beauty secrets existed in sixteenth-century Venice. They contained recipes claiming to give women white teeth, clear skin, a beautiful face and long, fair hair. Beauty was an advantage in an age when women's opportunities were very limited.