• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2007

    Antiquities

    4 June 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 246

    A ROMAN MARBLE VENUS GENETRIX

    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A ROMAN MARBLE VENUS GENETRIX
    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.
    The goddess standing on an integral oval plinth with her weight on her left leg, the right bent at the knee with the heel lifted, draped in a voluminous diaphanous himation, pulled up behind her shoulder in her right hand, the elbow bent acutely, exposing her left breast and revealing the form of her body beneath, the excess drapery gathered around her right hip, amassed between her legs and flaring at her feet, the hem clinging to the top of her feet, her toes emerging below, wearing platform sandals, the drapery gathered over her left arm, the forearm separately made and now missing, wearing a fillet over her loosely-bound hair, tendrils falling onto her shoulders
    10 1/8 in. (25.7 cm.) high


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    The so-called Aphrodite Frejus or Venus Genetrix is based on a late 5th century B.C. Greek prototype that was popularized in the Julio-Claudian Period, as Julius Caesar and his successors sought to identify with the goddess as progenitor of their family. Claiming direct descent from the goddess and Aeneas, Caesar built a temple to Venus Genetrix in his forum in Rome in 45 B.C. For several similar examples see nos. 225ff., pp. 25-27 in Delivorrias, et al., "Aphrodite" in LIMC.

    Provenance

    German Private Collection, prior to 1988.