Inventory number
E00031
Author
Anonymous
Title
Venus of the dolphin
Chronology
140-150
Technique
Sculpted
Marble
Dimensions
200 cm x 50 cm x 47 cm - 361,4 kg
School
Ancient Art
Theme
Mythology
On display
Yes
Provenance
Colección Real (Col. Cristina de Suecia; Col. Livio Odescalchi; San Ildefonso, Palacio Real, Col. Felipe V).

A Roman copy of a Hellenistic original dating from around 280-250 B.C. In the fourth century B.C., Praxiteles created the first image of a nude Aphrodite emerging from the waves. This Aphrodite of Cnidus was so successful that a great variety of “chaste” Afrodites were made. Among the later, two large copies are outstanding: this work at the Prado Museum, and the Capitoline Afrodite at the Capitoline Museum in Rome, which gives its name to this type. In the present version, the praxitelean model takes on the slender proportions of Lysippos' canon. Curls of hair are added to her back, and the vessel and cloth in the original are replaced by a dolphin.

This work was discovered in the Villa dei Decii in Rome. Much of the dolphin and of one leg was added at a later date.

 
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