Visitors to the House are now greeted in the Entrance Hall by a very illustrious lady indeed. This arresting grande dame who occupies the principal niche of the hall, is non other than the Venus Genetrix.
The Romans, keen to highlight their divine lineage, renamed the Greek goddess Aphrodite "Venus Genetrix" or "Mother Venus" and around the 2nd century A.D. created this copy of the Greek bronze by Callimachus (late 5th century B.C.).
Our version is a plaster cast from the Frejus Aphrodite of the Louvre made in the atelier of the Musée Art & Histoire in Brussels. It is the closest we can get to the version the first Earl of Milltown purchased in Italy on his grand tour. Guaranteed to give his guests the wow factor, his slightly different version was also a 2nd century A.D. Roman statue of flawless Parian marble. Venus holds the edge of her garment with her graceful right arm extended, in her left hand is the golden apple, a prize from Paris for winning the title of "Most Beautiful Goddess". The sculptor reveals the power and the beauty of the female form in a sensual mannerist style. Her companions in the other niches in Milltown's day were most likely Mercury, a Venus de Medici, Diana the Huntress and a young Bacchus.
The lady returns to us courtesy of the Apollo Foundation, an organisation keen to assist us in our endeavours to recreate the splendour of Joseph Leeson's original 18th century sculptural arrangement.
Come and see her for yourself on one of our award-winning House tours. Book House Tour.