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Roman

Aphrodite or 'Crouching Venus' Second century AD

Marble | 125 x 53 x 65 cm (whole object) | RCIN 69746

In an exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts [London]
  • This marble statue of Aphrodite, also known as the 'Crouching Venus', dates from the Antonine period (2nd century AD) and is a Roman version of a Hellenistic original from 200 BC. Carved in marble, she is depicted in a nude crouching pose, with her hair gathered loosely on her head and partially falling over her left shoulder, with her right arm bent in front her body and her left arm resting on her left leg.

    This statue was acquired by Charles I who assembled an important collection of Roman antiquities. The statue is recorded in the 1631 inventory of statues from the Gonzaga collection in Mantua, which had been sold by Duke Vincenzo II of Mantua to Charles I a few years earlier. It was put on sale after Charles I's execution and is listed in the Commonwealth Sale Inventory of 1650 (lot 10, fol. 61v) in the section headed 'statues being hole figures': '88: Sellena hole figure bigger than ye life £600'. It was bought by the artist Peter Lely. By 1682 it had returned to the Royal Collection.

    In 1902 it was sent from Kensington Palace to Windsor Castle where it was placed in the Orangery. Since 1963 it has been on long term loan to the British Museum.
    Provenance

    Acquired by Charles I

  • Medium and techniques

    Marble

    Measurements

    125 x 53 x 65 cm (whole object)

    43 cm (Width) x 58 cm (Depth); 86 cm (Circumference) (at base of object)

    600000 g (Weight) (whole object)