Since Antiquity, the motif of the reclining nude woman has enjoyed considerable success amongst artists. Already present on the Roman sarcophagi of the first centuries, glorified by the greatest masterpieces of Western art such as the Sleeping Ariana or the Venus of Urbino and Dresden by Giorgione and Titian, this theme with a strong sensual connotation gives body to the object of the gaze and male desire.
Our work is at the heart of this iconographic tradition which in the 17th century in Germany and the Northern Netherlands encountered an unprecedented development in the field of statuary. Within this production stands out a corpus of small groups sculpted in alabaster to which our work could well be linked. Sometimes executed by great masters like Léonard Kern, all of them present, like our sculpture, women with slender canon and generous and sensual pulpits, languid in a setting of drapery. Among them, many Venus, some Diana, but also penitent Mary Magdalene, resting on the skull serving as a support for her meditation. Within this set, our young extended woman applied to writing seems to be able to relate to the first group of Venus. Indeed, if her very original attitude could tend to confuse her with Clio, muse of poetry, or with another mythical or historical female character whose erudition or talents of writing would be to celebrate, her nudity offered to contemplation is none other than the admitted attribute of the goddess of love. The artists of the time showed a certain interest in the representations of Venus writing in bed, sometimes assisted by Cupid, as attested by, among other things, a 17th century ink attributed to Giovanni Andrea Sirani, now kept at the Louvre Museum.
Like the other alabasters in this corpus of elongated female figures, our Venus was a highly coveted collector's item of the wealthy elite of the time. Maintaining a certain proximity with the sculptures of Garden in the region, these pieces were intended to adorn rich interiors, taking place in niches or on fireplace shelves.
Complete documentary file on request.