Venus with a Dolphin
- 1550 - 1610
- 25-1/4 x 10-1/2 x 6 in. (64.1 x 26.7 x 15.2 cm)
- Credit Line:
- The Norton Simon Foundation
- Accession Number:
- © The Norton Simon Foundation
As the goddess of love, Venus personifies female beauty; throughout the ages, poets, painters and sculptors have dedicated themselves to imagining her physical perfections in word and image. In the 16th and 17th centuries, collectors eagerly acquired representations of the fair goddess as much to demonstrate their cultivation and knowledge of the antique as to enjoy the purely sensual aspects of the female nude. This figure was likely displayed in a domestic environment such as a studiolo, a study generally designed for a man, where her fully realized form could be admired in the round.
Venus stands in an elegant contrapposto, with her right hand raised and her head looking down. She may originally have held an apple, an attribute associated with her predecessor, the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Her portrayal here as Venus Anadyomene, who was born of the sea, is signaled by the dolphin balancing behind her and the base that supports them both, where stria, or parallel grooves, indicate the waves of the ocean. Her subtly modeled flesh, slightly elongated limbs and small, beautifully coiffed head convey a sensual elegance that is characteristic of late Mannerist bronzes.
Dr. Walter von Pannwitz (d. 1920), Berlin, by descent to his wife;
Catalina von Pannwitz, “de Hartekamp” in Heemstede, still in 1925;
Paul Drey, New York, sold April 20, 1937 to;
[Duveen Brothers, Inc., New York (stock no. 29764), sold 1965 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.
Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via email. Requests can also be made by fax or mail.
Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.
Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.
Please download the Application for Reproduction Permission form and submit it to the Office of Rights and Reproductions.
|Telephone:||(626) 449-6840 x 3300|