The crouching Venus is known through copies of a Hellenistic prototype of the mid to late third century B.C. Thought to be originally fashioned in bronze by Diodalsas of Bithynia, the completely nude bathing goddess furthered the study of the female form, as compared with the 4th century Knidian Aphrodite, by the degree of exposure of her flesh. The abundant rolls of skin along her abdomen and compression of her right breast below her crossing arm can be seen as unflattering through our post-Victorian eyes. Clearly these attributes were venerated by the ancients, as the goddess, here in the privacy of her bath, surely epitomizes sexuality. For the type see no. 1018ff. in Delivorrias, Berger-Doer and Kossatz-Diessmann "Aphrodite" in LIMC, vol. II. See also no. 84, p. 121 in Havelock, Hellenistic Art, and pl. 112, pp. 230-232 in Ridgway, Hellenistic Sculpture I.
The grand scale of the present example suggests that it was part of a sculptural plan in a public space, such as a bath complex. Compare, for example, the famous Farnese Hercules and Farnese Bull, both colossal sculptures originally from the Baths of Caracalla in Rome, now in the Museo Nazionale in Naples.