8 June 2004
A ROMAN BRONZE VENUS GENETRIX
CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.
The goddess standing with her left leg crossed over her right, draped in a belted chiton that has fallen from her right shoulder revealing her breast, a mantle draped over her left forearm, and around her body diagonally across the thighs in front and along her lower torso in back, wearing sandals, her gaze directed slightly downward and to her left, her narrow eyes deeply recessed for now-missing inlays, her hair arranged in an elaborate coiffure, with a chignon at the nape of her neck and a large top-knot, individual locks falling along her shoulders, her separately-made arms now missing
6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm.) high
Thétis Foundation; Sotheby's, London, 23 May 1991, lot 121.
with Royal-Athena Galleries, New York, 1992 (Art of the Ancient World, vol. VII, part 2, no. 124).
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J. Dörig, et al., Art Antique, Collection Privées de Suisse Romande, Mayence, 1975, no. 374.
J.-L. Zimmerman, Collection de la Foundation Thétis, Geneva, 1987, no. 171.
Musée d'art et d'histoire, Geneva, 1987.
Venus Genetrix was thought to be the divine mother of the Roman people. The Gens Julia, the family of Julius Caesar, claimed direct descent from Venus Genetrix and Aeneas. A temple to this goddess was built in Caesar's forum. For variations of the type see pls. 23-24 in Bieber, Ancient Copies.
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