Tête de Vénus

Pierre Auguste RENOIR: artist

Not On Display

About the work

Renoir painted many images of women, including contemporary scenes of them at leisure, and nudes. Late in life he turned to making sculpture, and it was the form of the naked female body that became his subject. Renoir’s paintings were typically impressionist, however, his sculptures come from a different reference point, that of classicism.

This bust of the Roman goddess of love was taken from a full-length sculpture, the Venus Victrix (Venus Victorious). Although ostensibly derived from antiquity, there is nothing mythical about this very contemporary Venus. Her pose has been appropriated from one of Renoir’s many bather paintings, and her downcast eyes permit the viewer to gaze on her unclothed body thereby transforming her into an object of sexual desire. Renoir’s sculptural output was the result of a remarkable partnership between the elderly painter, whose hands were crippled by arthritis, and Richard Guino, the young sculptor employed to assist him
Tête de Vénus
Artist/Maker and role
Pierre Auguste RENOIR: artist
bronze with black patina
57 x 51 x 30 cm
Credit line
Purchased with funds presented by Swan Portland Cement Ltd, 1980
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the sculptures in our collection.