Reclining Female Figure or Venus, circa 1700
23 x 47 x 20 cm (9 x 18 ¹/₂ x 7 ⁷/₈ inches)
Base in “Bleu Turquin” marble and gilded bronze, France, early 19th century; h. 9 x 23.5 x 49 cm
D. Banzato, F. Pellegrini, M. De Vincenti, Dal Medioevo a Canova. Scultura dei Musei Civici di Padova dal Trecento all’Ottocento, Venice 2000, nos 94, 95, 96;
S. Guerriero, Una Venere e Amore di Giovanni Bonazza ad Amburgo, in “Arte Veneta”, 70.2013 (2015), pp. 202-205;
O. Meslay, Une Nymphe allongée par Giovanni Bonazza dans les collections du Dallas Museum of Art, in “Arte Veneta”, 70.2013 (2015), pp. 206-207;
Damir Tulić, Le opere di Bonazza sulla costa orientale dell’Adriatico, in C. Cavalli, A. Nante, eds, Antonio Bonazza e la scultura veneta del Settecento, Proceedings of the day conference, Padua, Museo Diocesano - Friday 25 October 2013, Verona 2015, p. 56.
This small sculpture in the round portrays a beautiful woman reclining on the ground
surrounded by rosebuds; her right arm rests on a tree trunk, her drape, which falls from
the tree to protect her nude body from contact with the earth, partially covers the upper
part of her legs. The woman, clad in no more than her own beauty, can be identified as a
Venus for the presence of the roses, one of the goddess’s iconographical attributes. Her
long hair, adorned with a ribbon at the centre of her head, is gathered in an exuberant and
elaborate hairstyle; her left foot wears a sandal whilst its companion rests on the ground.
The figure reclines in a very elegant pose, deep in solitary contemplation, emphasised by
her lowered gaze.