Bronze statue of Venus by the French sculptor Aristide Maillol. The sculpture is the result of over a decade of research, and does not correspond to any real mythological subject. Its name is the result of a decision taken by Maillol when it was completed.
Maillol specialized in the creation of noble female figures, his works show the return to classical forms in the early 20th century. Created in 1928, it is located at Place de la Loge at Languedoc Roussillon in the French city of Perpignan.
Venus is not Maillol’s favorite statue, but it is the one of all his works that took the longest time to create, his research taking him over 10 years. The figure’s stance brings movement to Venus and the resulting harmony, typical of Maillol’s work in his mature years, won universal acclaim from critics.
“I started from a drawing, from a very large thing… I wanted to give the statue this grandeur. I called it “Summer”. Rodin found it amazing. Then, I lost it. By pushing my work, I damaged it. So I changed it and made it into a Venus. We don’t always do what we want to do…”Aristide Maillol
The statue is based on a young Catalan girl that ad entered Maillol’s service called Thérèse. He was delighted by her natural beauty and Olympian greatness, and her beautiful face. At the end of his life, he retained the most vivid memory of her.
“It’s little Thérèse, you see… She was very nice. She was long, with an admirable back and very beautiful legs. She had a head of divine beauty, the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen, very soft, long eyes, real doe eyes.”
Maillol made two versions of the Venus, one with and without a necklace. On the original plaster she wears a necklace that her fingers play with. This necklace does not appear in the final bronze cast.