Venus Anadyomene

Relief
ca. 1510-1515 (made)
Venus Anadyomene thumbnail 1
Venus Anadyomene thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This relief formed part of a cycle of carvings of mythological figures by Lombardo. The inscription on the base is the last pentameter of a passage in Ovid in which the poet describes a gem incised with the image of Venus rising from the sea "Naked Venus wrings spray from her hair". It was a signal to the learned viewer to recall the full passage to be found in the poet's work the Arts of Love.
It is made by Antonio Lombardo (ca. 1458 - ca. 1516) in Venice in the early 16th century.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Marble
Brief Description
Relief, marble, Venus Anadyomene, by Antonio Lombardo, Italy (Venice), ca.1508-1516
Physical Description
Marble relief depicting Venus rising from the waves. Her left foot rests on a shell, as she wrings the sea water from her hair with both hands. A latin inscription runs along the length of the base.
Dimensions
  • Height: 40.6cm
  • Width: 26cm
  • Depth: 7cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'NVDA VENVS MADIDAS EXPRIMIT IMBRE COMAS' (Inscription; decoration; base.)
Gallery Label
VENUS WRINGING HER HAIR, also known as Venus Anadyomene About 1510–15 Antonio Lombardo (about 1458–1516?) The relief formed part of a cycle of carvings of mythological figures. The inscription on the base is the last pentameter of a passage in Ovid, in which the poet describes a gem incised with the image of Venus rising from the sea. It was a signal to the learned viewer to recall the full passage. Marble Inscribed in Latin on the base,‘Naked Venus wrings spray from her hair’ Museum no. A.19-1964 Purchased with assistance of The Art Fund(2006)
Credit line
Purchased with Art Fund support
Object history
Bought by the Museum from Wildenstein & Co. for £5775, from a Christie's sale, which also sold other sculptures from Wilton House on 2nd June, 1964. Wildenstein generously agreed to give it to the Museum for the purchase price.
Historical context
In an article in Apollo, Pope-Hennessy (1964) claims that the relief is by Antonio Lombardo and that the figure derives directly from that of Giorgione's paintings; stating that "nowhere in marble is the search for a three-dimensional equivalent to Giorgione's voluptuous figures as clearly to be read as it is here". Peta Motture in European Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum (1996) describes the composition as apparently based on descriptions of a lost work by the Greek painter Apelles, which also inspired Botticelli's Birth of Venus.



Pope-Hennesy's attribution to Antonio Lombardo is disputed by Anthony Radcliffe in the catalogue for The Genius of Venice. He cites the large empty spaces in the background as uncharacteristic of Antonio's work and notes that the sensuous form of the body and face are closer to the female figures of Antonio's brother Tullio. He concludes however, that the unbalanced composition is foreign to both brothers and suggests that a sculptor, perhaps of a younger generation is responsible for the work and identifies Mosca as a potential candidate. This opinion has since been revised and the attribution remains that of Antonio Lombardo, as it appears in European Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996.
Subjects depicted
Literary ReferenceOvid: Arts of Love
Summary
This relief formed part of a cycle of carvings of mythological figures by Lombardo. The inscription on the base is the last pentameter of a passage in Ovid in which the poet describes a gem incised with the image of Venus rising from the sea "Naked Venus wrings spray from her hair". It was a signal to the learned viewer to recall the full passage to be found in the poet's work the Arts of Love.

It is made by Antonio Lombardo (ca. 1458 - ca. 1516) in Venice in the early 16th century.
Bibliographic References
  • Williamson, P. European Sculpture At The Victoria And albert Museum, V&A Publication, 1996, p. 92
  • Martineau, Jane and Hope, Charles (eds.), The Genius of Venice 1500-1600, London : Royal Academy of Arts, 1983S13
  • Wind, E. Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance, London, Faber, 1968, p. 264, no. 2
  • Lewis, D., "The Washington Relief of Peace and its Pendant : A Commission of Alfonso d'Este to Antonio Lombardo in 1512", in: Collaboration in Italian Renaissance Art, London and New Haven, 1978, pp. 235-239, notes 14 and 15
  • Markham Schultz, M. Giammaria Mosca called Padovano: a Renaissance Sculptor in Italy and Poland, University Park, 1998, pp. 24, 70-72, 78, 80, fig. 44
  • Ceriana, Matteo, and Castello Estense, Gli Este a Ferrara: Il Camerino di alabastro Antonio Lombardo e la scultura all'antica, Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2004.
  • Sarah Blake McHam, ‘Reflections in Giovanni Bellini’s Woman with a Mirror’, Artibus et Historiae, vol. 29, no. 58 (2008), p. 157-171
  • Alessandra Sarchi, Antonio Lombardo, Venice, 2008, p. 255-258, cat. 20
  • Venus rising : a National Galleries of Scotland touring exhibition, Edinburgh : National Galleries of Scoltand, 2005
Collection
Accession Number
A.19-1964

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 25, 2004
Record URL