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The tattoos/paintings explained
According to ancient belief Aphrodite (Venus) was created when Cronus (the god of time) castrated his father Ouranos (who represented the sky) and threw them into the sea. After a long time the testicles became the sea foam from which Aphrodite was born washed ashore on a shell. Thus my figures legs are covered in the sea foam (with apologies to Hokusai) and the shell covers her mount of Venus.
She was married to Hephaestus (Vulcan - the god of fire) the lame, ugly blacksmith, hence the fire and the anvil on the back of the figure.
The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, I have borrowed this from the bible because lust is the original sin personified by Venus.
The Greek helmet represents Venus's relationship with Mars.
Venus falls in love with Mars, Helios, the sun god, sees them and reports their affair to her husband, the blacksmith Vulcan who then makes a finely woven net to capture them
The grape vines allude to Venus's dalliance with Bacchus, the god of wine.
The blood running down Venus's breast is where she was hit by Cupid's arrow, causing her to fall in love with Adonis. Adonis was born from the interior of a myrrh tree which are the spiky branches shown here. When he was killed by a boar, a pomegranate tree grew from his blood.
The three golden apples were given to Hippomenes by Venus, to enable him to win a race against Atalanta. He threw the apples so that she would stop to pick them up thus winning. Venus had them turned into lions because they were ungrateful and did not make a sacrifice to her.
Three goddesses, Hera, Athena and Venus asked Paris to judge which of them was the most beautiful. Paris chose Venus, giving her the apple inscribed 'for the most beautiful'. In return Venus gave him Helen, thus directly causing the Trojan War and ultimately the founding of Rome.
As the goddess of fertility, Venus, is always associated with flowers. The roses and grapes to tie the other images together.
The origin of Eros or Cupid is disputed, but he is commonly believed to be the son of Venus by an unknown father. His function is to cause people to fall in love, thus being the cause of much mischief. Eros inhabits the heights of Mount Olympus, hence the blue skies and white clouds. On the other side are the dark clouds of war caused by Venus's activities.
34 inches/ 87 cm high