Crouching Venus Anadyomene
Late Hellenistic or Early Imperial Period
H. 25 cm ; W. 20 cm ; D. 22 cm
Acquired by Rodin from the antiquarian Spiridon Castellanos on 30 June 1910.
The figure of Venus is shown naked, here, having barely emerged from the waves. Only the crouching body has survived, leaving us to imagine the head of the goddess and the gesture of her arms lifting up her hair. The now fragmentary form seems to be turned in on itself, on an almost frontal plane, enlivened by the contradictory positions of the arms and legs.
Rodin purchased the statue in 1910 and exhibited it in 1912-13 in his museum at the Hôtel Biron. The sculptor had particular empathy for the crouching body theme, the very symbol of femininity and probably knew the Alexandrine origin of this antique: “Egyptian marble – It’s a world in itself, an Egyptian Mona Lisa, a crouching Venus, as well as a living flower, a form whose powerful vigour and grace fill me with joy… This little fragment is a masterpiece,” (Musée Rodin Archives, Rodin’s notes).