The Torso of Venus

The Torso of Venus

A Roman 1st/2nd Century Sculpture

We were delighted to present this beautifully balanced Roman Torso of Venus in our November 2021 auction of African & Oceanic Art, Antiquities and Natural History where it achieved £30,000 incl premium.

Beautifully balanced, this 1st/2nd century Roman Torso of Venus is influenced by the original and most celebrated depiction of the female form from antiquity, The Aphrodite of Knidos. Created by Praxiteles of Athens around the 4th century B.C., it presented the female nude in the form of the goddess of love as an alternative to male heroic nudity. It is widely agreed that this was the first life-sized depiction of the female nude throughout the ancient Greek world.

 

ROMAN TORSO OF VENUS EUROPE, 1ST - 2ND CENTURY A.D.

LOT 90 | ROMAN TORSO OF VENUS | EUROPE, 1ST - 2ND CENTURY A.D.
carved marble, the goddess shown nude, her right leg placed slightly in front with the knee bent, her weight placed on the left leg, the upper half of the torso angled subtly forwards so as to create a fold above the navel, raised on a bespoke mount
48cm tall | £30,000 incl premium

 

View Lot 90 ⇒

 

Though Praxiteles’ masterwork does not survive to the present day, many Roman copies and variants survive of this influential piece. The original depicted Venus Aphrodite reaching for a bath towel while covering her pubis, in turn leaving her breasts exposed. Conversely the arm positioning of the present example suggests that in its full form the right arm would have been bent at the elbow, the hand raised to cover the breasts. A similar pose can be seen in the Venus Medici, a Hellenistic sculpture in the Praxitelean tradition dating to the 1st century B.C. and now housed in the Uffizi (inv 1914 no. 224).

 


 

Auction Information

 

AFRICAN & OCEANIC ART, ANTIQUITIES AND NATURAL HISTORY

Wednesday 24th November 2021 | Live Online

 

View the auction results ⇒

 


 

Antiquities

 

Lyon & Turnbull offers biannual sales of Antiquities; spanning across world history and featuring objects from the classical Mediterranean world, including Greece, Italy, Egypt and the Near East.

The Antiquities market is exciting but complex, Lyon and Turnbull can offer expert advice and guidance through the process of buying and selling ancient art.

 

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