Make your own free website on

Exhibit Catalog to the Morris County Historical Society's "Out of the Closet" Exhibition

Venus Pudica

Paintings and Drawings
Japanese Prints
Thank You
Fun Stuff

Click picture to enlarge

Artist unknown
Venus Pudica
Circa 19th century
Marble sculpture
26 1/2 in. (with base)

"Venus Pudica"
Here we find Venus, the goddess of sexual love, in a "pudica" pose - meaning that she covers her nude body with her hands or a piece of drapery. The implication is that she just discovered someone spying on her in the bath, and has hastily covered herself up in as modest a fashion as possible. This Classical pose exudes eroticism as well as virtuous modesty; while trying to cover herself up, Venus calls attention to her nude body and the fact that she is still partially exposed.
By virtue of being a "Venus Pudica," this Venus sculpture begs the viewer to become involved in its story. Venus's bath has been invaded by an unknown person - perhaps it is the viewer, as Venus stands alone and is not part of a larger figural group. Her reaction to the outside intruder connects the sculpture's space with that of our own. And the fact that Venus's body twists in such a way that we must walk around it to view all angles brings us even further into the world of the sculpture.