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According to the artist, this sculpture was developed from another life-size nude entitled 'Summer', made in 1910. The model for this 'Venus', however, was a Spanish maid who came to work for Maillol at the end of the First World War. Maillol later recalled that he worked on the piece over a period of several years. A plaster version, complete with necklace, was exhibited in Paris in 1928 and a bronze cast was sold the same year. Named after the goddess of love, this sculpture epitomises Maillol's vision of feminine beauty.

August 2004