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In the right foreground Venus, naked and with her hair elegantly coiffed, sits on a rock draped with blue silk. She turns away from the viewer with her left arm raised and her face in profile. On the ground to her left is a quiver of arrows and a bow with a broken string. Cupid hovers before her and gestures upwards with his right hand. An outcrop of rock with tree branches on the right partly hides the rolling waves of the sea which are revealed beneath a cloudy sky on the left. The oak branch seen above Venus' head refers to the origins of her Greek counterpart, Aphrodite. According to Homer, Aphrodite was the daughter of Zeus and Dione, goddess of the oak tree. However, the seascape in the distance is a reference to another legend (told by the Greek poet Hesiod) of Venus's birth from the sea and her journey to shore on a scallop shell.
oil on wood
H 49.5 x W 36.8 cm
gift from Miss Helen Shipstone, 1933