Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Statuette - Venus removing a thorn from her foot
  • Venus removing a thorn from her foot
    Ponce, Jacquiot
  • Enlarge image

Venus removing a thorn from her foot

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1560-1570 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ponce, Jacquiot (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast bronze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 62, The Foyle Foundation Gallery, case 15

According to legend, the rose was originally a white flower, but in Venus' haste to help the dying Adonis, a thorn pierced her foot and her blood stained the petals red. This bronze shows the kneeling figure of the naked Venus removing the thorn from her foot. The pose is similar to that of the same subject engraved by Marco Dente (died 1527) after a fresco executed by Raphael's workshop in 1516 for the bathroom of Cardinal Bibbiena in Rome. The terracotta model for this figure, which was formerly painted to imitate bronze, is now in the Musée du Louvre in Paris. The Dente engraving was once in the collection of the artist François Girardon; it is mentioned in the inventory made after his death in 1710 and appears in an engraving of the Galerie de Girardon of the same date.

Ponce Jacqueau, who also worked in Rome, was one of the leading Parisian sculptors of his day. The figure of Venus is closely related in style and handling to the bronze figures of Prudence and Temperance that he made for the funerary monument of Henry II of France in the abbey church of Saint-Denis in Paris, in about 1565-1570. It is a unique cast, although smaller versions exist in other collections. A Mother and Child in the Wallace Collection in London is also attributed to the artist.

Physical description

Bronze statuetted of Venus kneeling to remove a thorn from her foot.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1560-1570 (made)


Ponce, Jacquiot (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Cast bronze


Height: 25.3 cm, Width: 23.5 cm, Depth: 12.5 cm

Object history note

Bought from Mr Alfred Spero, London, for £3200, in 1964.

Descriptive line

Statuette, bronze, Venus removing a thorn from her foot, by Jacquiot Ponce, France, 1560-1570

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Williamson, Paul, ed. European Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996, p. 124
Radcliffe, Anthony, European bronze statuettes, London, 1966, pp. 97, 98
Penny, Nicholas. Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, Vol III, Oxford, 1992, p. 96-7
Radcliffe, Anthony, "Ponce et Pilon", in: Bresc-Bautier (ed.), German Pilon et les sculpteurs français de la Renaissance, Paris, 1993, p. 289 and figs. 80-82Radcliffe, Anthony, "Ponce et Pilon", in: Bresc-Bautier (ed.), German Pilon et les sculpteurs français de la Renaissance, Paris, 1993, p. 289 and figs. 80-82
Wixom, William D. Renaissance Bronzes from Ohio Collections, Cleveland Museum of Art, 1975, no 229
Götz-Mohr. B. von, Nachantike Kleinplastische Bildwerke, II, Italien, Frankreich, Niederlande 1500-1800, Liebighaus Frankfurt, Melsungen, 1988, cat. 76, pp. 193-6
pp. 80-3, cat 58
Bresc-Bautier, Geneviève & Scherf, Guilhem (eds.), Cast in bronze : French sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution, Paris : Musée du Louvre Éditions : Somogy Art Publishers, 2009
Warren, Jeremy, Beauty & Power: Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Peter Marino Collection, London, The Wallace Collection, 2010, exh. cat. pp. 22-23, fig. 2
Krahn, Volker (ed.), Von allen Seiten schön : Bronzen der Renaissance und des Barock : Wilhelm von Bode zum 150, Heidelberg : Edition Braus, 1995



Subjects depicted

Thorn (plant material)


Sculpture; Myths & Legends; Bronze


Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.