Venus Anadyomene (Pompeii)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

One of the earliest representations of the Venus Anadyomene[1] motif was found on a reclining female nude fresco from Pompei in the Casa di Venus, 1st century AD, discovered in 1860 by Giuseppe Fiorelli. It is supposed that this fresco could be the Roman copy of famous portrait of Campaspe, mistress of Alexander the Great.

The mural of Venus from Pompeii was never seen by Botticelli, the painter of The Birth of Venus, but may have been a Roman copy of the then famous painting by Apelles which Lucian mentioned. In classical antiquity, the sea shell was a metaphor for a woman's vulva.

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