Description This Venus, with her legs close together and a hand covering her genital area, is a "Venus Pudica," modest or chaste Venus. Her gesture implies awareness of an unexpected gaze: the viewer's. A nearly identical statuette (in the Basel Historisches Museum, Switzerland) was owned by the collector Basilius Amerbach (1533-91), who believed the statuette to be ancient. Both statuettes have silver-inlaid eyes, a feature copied from antique bronzes, as are Venus's corkscrew curls. The pose is derived from a much-studied ancient torso in a Roman collection. It is possible that these statuettes were created as "antiques," for which there was great demand.
- Touch and the Enjoyment of Sculpture: Exploring the Appeal of Renaissance Statuettes. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2012.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1904 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1904
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