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)

Edgar Degas

The Tub
Degas is known mainly as a painter, and sculpture was a very private aspect of his art. He only exhibited one sculpture during his lifetime. This work is unusual in that it was probably intended to be viewed from above. It is almost as if we are meant to spy on the woman as she bathes. Like Titian's 'Venus', the woman seems unaware of being observed. Little is known about Degas's reasons for creating this sculpture. While he was greatly influenced by Italian Renaissance art, he also sought to break away from traditional artistic subjects, such as ancient goddesses. He may have made this sculpture simply to help him with his painting and drawing.
  • Credits Sir Alexander Maitland Bequest 1965
  • Medium Bronze
  • Size 22.20 x 45.70 x 42.00 cm

The Male Gaze

The way female nudes have been represented in western art has been criticised. Some commentators see this artistic interest in nudes as a sort of voyeurism that sets up women as objects of artistic appreciation for men.