This gorgeous Roman gold sculpture of a nude woman surely represents Venus. Ancient goddess of love, Venus appears before us, a beautiful gold statuette created by a skilled Roman artist. One of the twelve Olympians, Venus (known to the Greeks as Aphrodite) was one of the most celebrated deities of the ancients, known as the goddess of beauty, mother of love, queen of laughter, mistress of the graces and of pleasures, patroness of courtesans. In this fine gold sculpture, she stands in a typically recognizable pose associated with Venus, her torso exposed and her legs held tightly together, partially wrapped in a drapery that she holds in place with her right hand, expressing a modicum of modesty while displaying her inexplicable beauty. Her hair is swept back and a diadem crowns her head, she is slender and has elegant and sparingly formed breasts, This delicate sculpture captures all the grace and beauty of Venus.
Roman religion often witnessed individuals keeping small shrines to particular divinities in their domiciles, for personal devotional worship. A sculpture such as this one represents the pinnacle of Roman individual devotional activity, due to the expensive nature of the material, most probably being a possession of a very wealthy individual who wished to express his or her devotion to the goddess of love. When we touch this object, we touch the repository of the hopes and dreams – ubiquitously human traits – of a person from long ago. We are reminded that that health and happiness and other hopes and dreams cannot be bought with money are the province of the gods and their providence.