Torso of Venus

Aristide Maillol (French, 1861 - 1944)

1020. Oil on canvas, 44 7/8". 1979.059

Aristide Maillol’s primary interest was in the nude female figure, a time-honored subject in Western art, which he carried into the twentieth century. Maillol was inspired by Greek sculpture, but he did not seek the Classical ideal of slender form. Instead, he preferred to focus attention on the full, voluptuous body, here emphasized by the absence of head and limbs. The partial figure is an allusion to the fragments of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures that survive today and that we are accustomed to seeing in museums.

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