Object Image

Fragment of a Statue of Venus

This type of female torso—which depicts Venus (the Greek Aphrodite) wearing a sheer, revealing garment—was frequently used in the Roman world to represent the goddess in her role as genetrix, or mother. The statue type, which is likely based on an earlier Greek bronze statue of Aphrodite created by the sculptor Kallimachos, became popular after Julius Caesar, who claimed the goddess as his ancestress, dedicated a version of this statue in a temple to Venus Genetrix. This statue type was also used in portraits of Roman empresses, who, in producing future emperors, likened themselves to Venus as mothers of the imperial line.

Credit: Museum Purchase Fund...

1st/2nd century AD
68.0 x 33.0cm
Image and text courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago, 2019

Where you'll find this

Art Institute of Chicago
Permanent collection