Venus with an apple Marble Sculpture Around 1840


Venus with an apple. Statuary marble. Around 1840.

Large sculpture based on the original by Bertel Thorvaldsen kept in the Louvre.

The elegant sculpture depicts Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Represented standing, in a sinuous pose which highlights the harmonious curves of her body, the goddess silently observes the fruit which she holds with her right hand, while with the left she delicately touches the fabric which was first to cover her nudity. Her perfectly oval face shows delicate features, highlighted by her collected hairstyle which retains her cascade of curls. The fruit refers to the golden apple of the discord disputed between Minerva, Juno and Venus, then entrusted to the latter by Paris, prince of Troy, with the promise of obtaining the love of the most beautiful woman in the world, Elena.
The sculpture is based on the famous 1805 marble by Bertel Thorvaldsen (Copenhagen, November 17, 1770 – March 24, 1844) now in the Louvre in Paris.
Born in Copenhagen, the young Thorvaldsen began his activity as a sculptor by helping his father who, seeing artistic qualities in his son, sent him at the age of twelve to the school of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. At the Academy he achieved very high levels of skill, earning praise and rewards, also obtaining a royal salary to complete his studies in Rome, where he arrived on March 8, 1797 after a few stops in Malta and Naples. His fame in Rome is very great, equal to that of Canova (Possagno, November 1, 1757 – Venice, October 13, 1822), his artistic rival, who also settled in Rome in 1781 after his apprenticeship in Venice. The two neoclassical sculptors indeed clashed over the same motifs and subjects, each giving their own original interpretation. These are these figures from ancient mythology who, like the Graces, Cupid and Psyche, Venus, Hebe, represent the incarnation of great universal themes in the Western collective imagination. Compared to Canova, Thorvaldsen embodied more of the Greek art style; the poses and expressions of his characters are much more rigid and formal than those of Canova, always in search of great formal purity. In this regard, compare his Venus with an Apple with Canova’s Italic Venus made between 1804 and 1812 and today kept in the Palatine Gallery of the Pitti Palace in Florence. Common is the choice to represent the goddess of beauty during an intimate moment, but if in Canova the naturalness of the gesture of the goddess prevails, who modestly tries to hide her nudity behind a veil, in Thorvaldalsen it is grace and the harmony of the plasticity of the body which captures the viewer’s gaze.

Perfect state of conservation.

H cm 90

1 in stock

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