Statue of Venus Genetrix (Main View, front)


The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Venus, the goddess of love, stands clothed in a sheer, clinging garment that leaves one breast bare and emphasizes her body underneath, especially her genitalia. She is missing her head, right arm from the shoulder, left arm from the elbow, and pieces of drapery on her left side. She stands with her weight on her left leg, her right leg drawn slightly back. Her right arm was lifted, her left flexed and pressed against her side. Over her chiton she wears a himation, which is drawn across her back and wrapped around her left forearm, forming deep folds at her left side. On her feet she wears sandals with thin double soles slightly indented and held on by thongs emerging from an ivy-leaf-shaped plate.

The depiction of the goddess in this pose and attire, known as the Venus Genetrix type, is known in numerous Roman replicas. The multiple versions of this statue have led scholars to conclude that it reproduces a now-lost Greek statue that must have been very famous in antiquity. The style of the clinging, almost wet-looking garment dates the original Greek statue to the years around 410 B.C.

Judging from the form of the base, this Roman statue was made in the 100s A.D. It probably decorated a private villa. The less carefully worked back of the figure suggests that it was originally displayed in a niche.


  • Title: Statue of Venus Genetrix (Main View, front)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 2nd century A.D.
  • Location Created: Roman Empire
  • Physical Dimensions: 97.7 × 30.5 × 31.7 cm (38 7/16 × 12 × 12 1/2 in.)
  • Type: Mythological figure
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Marble
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 96.AA.213
  • Culture: Roman
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California, Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Sculpture (Visual Works)

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