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Venus, the goddess of love, reclines languidly on her bed, the curve of her body echoed in the sweep of sumptuous satin fabric. The pearly tones of her smooth skin contrast with the rich colours and lively brushstrokes of the curtain and sheets.
This is Velázquez’s only surviving female nude and one of his most celebrated works. Its nickname, ‘The Rokeby Venus’, originates from Rokeby Park, a country house in County Durham, where the painting hung for much of the nineteenth century.
The Toilet of Venus ('The Rokeby Venus')
Oil on canvas
H 122.5 x W 177 cm
Presented by The Art Fund, 1906