Bust of Aphrodite/Venus


About this object

Head of Aphrodite on a modern bust. The original movement of the head may have been altered when the head was attached to the modern bust. The neck line suggests that the head was turned to the left but the restorer used a turn downwards. The face and the hair are well preserved and the woman has an elongated oval face, the eyes also elongated and deeply set. Her mouth is slightly open, revealing her teeth. Similar to the turn of the head, the slightly open mouth gives the bust an emotional depth and a slight moodiness. The hair is thick around the face and falls in parallel loose strands. The waves are controlled by a thin hairband that encircles the crown. Bartman observed that the hair and the bun are restorations following typical representations of Aphrodite. Although there is no doubt that the face represents the goddess it is difficult to imagine what type of body would have been attached to the head, especially because of the turn of the head and the veiled treatment of the eyes. Ashmole and Felleti Maj believe that the body would be of the Medici type Aphrodite. Bartman observes that the head is typical of representations of the Goddess Aphrodite popular from the 4th century BC and that it is the product of a Roman workshop. Although not a rare head it is well carved and it would have been much admired in the 18th century. The head has restorations on the nose and the entire top of the hair crown and the knot as well as the bun. There is surface damage to the hair and discolouration on the eyes and lips. The ears are pierced for earrings.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy
  • Date made
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    420 mm x 200 mm
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


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  • An Account of the Statues, Busts, Bass Relieves, Cinerary Urns, and other ancient marbles, and paintings at Ince. Collected by H.B.

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    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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    Date: 1981

  • The Ince Blundell collection of classical sculpture Volume III-The ideal sculpture

    Bartman, Elizabeth

    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2017
    Description: This book investigates the important antiquities collection formed by Henry Blundell of Ince Blundell Hall, near Liverpool, in the late eighteenth century. Consisting of more than 500 ancient marbles - the UK's largest collection of Roman sculptures after that of the British Museum - the collection was assembled primarily in Italy during Blundell's various 'Grant Tour' visits. As ancient statues were the preeminent souvenir of the Grand Tour, Blundell has strong competition from other collectors, British nobility and European aristocrats, monarchs, and the Pope. His statues represent a typical cross section of sculptures that would have decorated ancient Roman houses, villas, public spaces and even tombs, although their precise origins are largely unknown. Most are likely to have come from Rome and at least one was found at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.


Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
Object view = Humanities
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