In "creating" Venus, the ancient Romans adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite.
As the personification of love and sexuality, Venus would become one of the most widely referenced and enduring deities of Greco-Roman mythology throughout the classical Western tradition, appearing across centuries of art and literature.
This image, taken from an anonymous fresco painting in Casa di Venus in Pompei, depicts Venus on a seashell, an image that would inspire many later paintings, such as Alexandre Cabanel's famous 1983 painting Birth of Venus.
Dug out in 1960, this fresco is believed to be the Roman copy of a famous portrait of Campaspe, the mistress of Alexander the Great.
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