An Italian statuary white marble figure of Venus,
the standing nude, her left hand holding her drapes on a naturalistically modelled stump, her right hand now lacking, the figure raised on an oval plinth,
Bertel Thorvaldsen (Swedish, 1770-1844) was widely considered the greatest Neo-classical sculptor after Canova, under whom he had trained. Thorvaldsen’s Venus was commissioned by the Russian countess Irina Vorontsov as part of a series of gods and goddesses. His full size marble of “Venus with Apple” from which this smaller version is copied, is held at The Louvre. Her posture – less coy than Canova’s “Venus After the Bath” – and depicted holding an apple – has been often cited as a more a figure of “Eve” than a Venus. Perhaps this half size carved marble version, in lacking the right hand as per the Venus de Milo – (and consequently the apple in its grasp), is rendered more definitively a “Venus” than an “Eve”. Either way, the figure is beautifully realised in statutory white marble and is likely to have been carved in Italy in the 1920’s.