Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Silver statuette of Venus

Early or Mid Imperial
1st–2nd century A.D.
Overall: 6 7/8 x 2in. (17.5 x 5.1cm)
Gold and Silver
Credit Line:
Gift of Christos G. Bastis, in honor of Philippe de Montebello, 1995
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 168
The Roman goddess Venus was early assimilated to the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. Her cult remained very popular throughout the Roman period, and many votive bronze statuettes have survived. Examples in silver, however, are rare, and this is an unusually large one, modeled on Hellenistic prototypes. Venus holds an apple in her left hand, a reference to her victory in the legendary beauty contest with Juno (Hera) and Minerva (Athena) that was judged by Paris, son of King Priam of Troy.
von Bothmer, Dietrich, Bernard V. Bothmer, Pat Getz-Preziosi, Diana Buitron-Oliver, and Andrew Oliver, Jr. 1987. Antiquities from the Collection of Christos G. Bastis, Emma Swan Hall, ed. no. 187, pp. 310-311, figs. 187a-187b, Mainz on Rhine: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1996. "One Hundred Twenty-sixth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1995 through June 30, 1996." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 126: p. 17.

Picón, Carlos A. 1997. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1996-1997." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 55(2): p. 14.

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