Venus Genetrix
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Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

Roman, A.D. 100 - 200
38 7/16 x 12 x 12 1/2 in.

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Venus, the goddess of love, stands clothed in a sheer, clinging garment that leaves one breast bare and emphasizes her body underneath, especially her genitalia. The depiction of the goddess in this pose and garment, known as the Venus Genetrix type, is known in numerous Roman replicas. The multiple versions of this statue have led scholars to conclude that it reproduces a now-lost Greek statue that must have been very famous in antiquity. The style of the clinging, almost wet-looking garment dates the original Greek statue to the years around 410 B.C.

Judging from the form of the base, this Roman statue was made in the 100s A.D. It probably decorated a private villa. The less carefully worked back of the figure suggests that it was originally displayed in a niche.