Venus is the Roman mythology counterpart to the Greek Aphrodite. She embodies sex, love, beauty, enticement and seduction. And with such persuasive female charm, no wonder she was and still is a leading muse to artists, thinkers, poets and…dreamers….
Venus of Willendorf, a small statuette of a female figure estimated to have been made between about 28,000 and 25,000 BCE. Although it pre-dates the mythological Venus by millennia, the figurine earned the nickname “Venus” thanks to her emphasized parts of the body that are associated with fertility and childbearing. Researchers believe that the voluptuous Venus may have portrayed a fertility goddess.
Venus of Willendorf
Aphrodite of Milos, better known as the Venus de Milo, is one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture. The de Milo statue is praised by many artists and critics as the epitome of graceful female beauty.
Venus de Milo on display at the Louvre, Paris
During the Renaissance period in Europe Venus became a popular subject of painting and sculpture. As the goddess of sexuality, a degree of erotic beauty in her presentation was justified, which appealed to many artists and their patrons. Since Venus-Aphrodite was born of sea-foam, The Birth of Venus by Botticelli as well as countless other artworks depict her rising from the sea in a clam.
Birth of Venus by Botticelli
Dr. No, filmed in 1962 and starring Sean Connery was the first James Bond film. Ean Fleming the author of James Bond series had a specific painting in mind when he wrote the scene of sexy Honey Rider rising from the sea in front of an excited James Bond (hint: check the above Botticelli painting). In what later became an iconic moment in cinematic and fashion history, Ursula Andress rose out of the Caribbean Sea in a white bikini sporting a large diving knife and two seashells.
Ursula Andress, iconic Bond girl
In 1986, the British girl group Bananarama remake of the song “Venus” (originally written & sung by the 60’s band Shocking Blue) became a hit. The music video for “Venus” received heavy airplay on MTV. It featured the group in various costumes including a devil, a French temptress, a vampire and a Roman goddess.
Venus video by Bananarama
For her fall-winter 2014-2015 collection Dori took a classic yet fresh approach to the Venus theme. Basking in golden glow that brings to light feminine fluid shapes and delicate shell-like textures, Dori’s Venus is timeless.. and just like the goddess, positively irresistible…. 🙂
Venus earrings by Dori Csengeri