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.
Picón, Carlos A., Joan R. Mertens, and Ariel Herrmann. 1996. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1995–1996: Ancient World." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 54(2): p. 14.
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.