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Tracy Stevens 26 February 2001 The Rokeby Venus I choose to look at the painting The Toilet of Venus or more commonly referred to as The Rokeby Venus by Diego Velalazquez The Rokeby part came into effect because the painting was originally displayed in the Morritt Collection at Rokeby Hall in Yorkshire before being moved to its current home in the National Gallery Diego Velazquez was born in Seville in 1599 and went on to become one of the most brilliant and influential painters ever to come from Spain He lived in Madrid for most of his adult life and was employed as a court painter Throughout his career he tackled a wide variety of subjects such as landscapes scenes from real life and mythologicalreligious figures He was a master realist who excelled at capturing essential features upon the canvas He painted The Rokeby Venus between 1647 and 1651 and was his only nude portrait as well as the first one in Spain at that time Initially the painting met with some disapproval especially from the Church since it was a nude but eventually the work received great praise and became known as being one of the most beautiful and significant portrayals of Venus in the history of Western Art The painting in its simplest form consists of a naked woman lying elegantly upon stately and rich cloths while a young also nude boy is holding a mirror which contains her reflection Upon first glance of this work I was quickly able to make out the identity of the two subjects Venus was shown to have many recognizable attributes including the fact that she was nude She is the only goddess who is allowed to be painted without any clothes on since she is the personification of beauty and her body is therefore perfect Also unlike a typical nude portrait there is no pubic hair showing at all nor is she wearing any
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