Venus with a necklace

Information sur l’artiste

Date de l’œuvre libre
Aristide Maillol, Vénus au collier, 1918-1928.

Aristide Maillol specialised in noble female figures, in works which show the return to classical forms in the early 20th century. Venus with a necklace is one of these artworks. The sculpture, result of a decade of research, does not correspond to any real mythological subject: its title is the result of a decision taken at the end of his creation. The figure's slightly contrapposto stance brings movement to the frontal composition. The resulting harmony, typical of Maillol's work in his mature years, won universal acclaim from critics when the plaster version was exhibited at the Autumn Salon in Paris in 1928.


The woman depicted plays with a pearl necklace that the artist has placed across her shoulders. Maillol's friends later convinced him to remove it, and it is not present on each version still existing nowadays. The accessory was judged to be superfluous and was removed by museum curators, probably in the 1950s: the piece then took on a different meaning, the gesture becoming abstract.

Artwork label
Description de l’œuvre

H. 176; L. 63; D.39 cm
Purchased in 1934
Inv. 1935-1