Large marble sculpture representing the Esquiline Venus.
Roman workshop, 19th century.
The Venus of the Esquiline is a Roman sculpture found in 1874 on the hill of the same name and now kept in the Capitoline Museums. It represents a naked woman pulling her hair to make a complicated hairstyle before immersing herself in her bath. The figure is naked except for sandals, a significant trait for recent interpretations as Venus never wears sandals. The search for a naturalistic rendering of the female body is obvious, indifferent to the canons of beauty applied to the figure of the goddess in traditional representations.
Since 1955, many studies have indicated that we are not in the presence of a Venus but rather of the statue of the young Cleopatra erected by Julius Caesar in the Temple of Venus Genitrix at the foot of the Campidoglio in 46 BC. It is not for nothing that next to the young woman who is about to bathe is a vase on the sides of which a snake is coiled which, according to the tradition of the pharaohs taken up by the Ptolemies, is the sign of the royalty.
The sculpture inspired numerous artistic reconstructions in the decade following its discovery, mainly in the field of painting (A Sculptor's Model (1877) by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema; Diadumene (1884) by Edward Poynter).
Ours is a rare polished white marble version of the highest quality.
Height cm 83
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