Venus of MadridCa. 150. White marble, 184 x 68 cm.
This sculpture is a Roman copy of a Hellenistic original dating from the second-first century B.C. Stripped of the baroque additions that distorted it, it is part of a large cycle of Venuses linked by similar postures. The beginning of this type of sculpture would seem to lie in a work by Lysipus or his school known through a Roman copy: the Venus of Capua. In it, the goddess, with a nude torso, looks at her reflection in Ares´ shield, which she holds in both hands. Adaptations from the Second Century B.C. include the rather fleshier Venus of Milo, and the prototype from which the present work is derived, with a clothed torso. Similar figures, with diverse variations, continued to be made for Roman female portraits. These bore wings, as images of Victories, allowing them to be used on triumphal monuments.