Small Victorious Venus

French
1913
Cast by C. Valsuani, Paris, Modeled by Richard Guino (Spanish, active in France, 1890–1973)


Object Place: Europe, France

Dimensions

Overall: 85.1 x 22.9 x 22.9 cm, 29.2 kg (33 1/2 x 9 x 9 in., 64.4 lb.)

Accession Number

56.259

Medium or Technique

Bronze

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Sculpture

Bronze. One of an edition of six cast by Valsuani for the Renoir-Vollard heirs. Standing nude figure holding drapery, on square base signed Renoir at back. On square base, columns at corners, garland, relief at front: Judgement of Paris, ram’s heads on three faces.


With her full figure and soft face, Renoir’s Venus represents the artist’s ideal female type. In her right hand, the goddess of love and beauty holds an apple, a reference to her victory at the Judgment of Paris—the beauty contest among three goddesses that helped set the Trojan War in motion. A relief on the base of the sculpture depicts the event. Late in his life, Renoir was almost completely crippled with arthritis. With the assistance of another artist, Richard Guino, he fulfilled a long-standing desire to produce sculpture. Guino acted as Renoir’s hands, following the direct instructions of the master as he modeled clay or wax. A larger version of Victorious Venus was the only sculpture that Renoir worked on himself, modeling the head.

Signed

on back of base: Renoir

Provenance

1913, commissioned by Ambroise Vollard (b. 1867 - d. 1939), Paris [see note 1]. 1956, Fine Arts Associates, New York; 1956, sold by Fine Arts Associates to the MFA for $4,000. (Accession Date: April 12, 1956)

NOTES:
[1] Renoir's assistant, Richard Guino, assisted him in creating a small-scale wax statuette of the sculpture in 1913. This is one of six bronze casts of the model that were made.

Credit Line

William Francis Warden Fund