An image of feminine beauty

This bronze statuette in the Rouen Museum presents a traditional image of the Roman Venus: a young and completely naked woman. The figure’s total nudity is the identifying factor here.
In the Roman world, total female nudity was very rare in everyday life, except for certain categories of people (such as prostitutes). This goddess is portrayed naked for a specific purpose: to demonstrate her great beauty, without the aid of artifice.
She was very often represented with long hair falling over her shoulders; her figure is clearly feminine, with pronounced breasts and hips. In Greek art, Venus-Aphrodite was portrayed clothed until the 4th century BC. The sculptor Praxiteles was the first to dare portray the goddess as a naked woman. Total or partial nudity then became one of the principal characteristics of this deity, notably in Roman art.