Venus Anadyomene. Venus Anadyomene is one of the iconic representations of the goddess Venus, made famous in a much-admired painting by Apelles, now lost, but described in Pliny's Natural History, with the anecdote that the great Apelles employed Campaspe, a mistress of Alexander the Great, for his model.
   According to Athenaeus, the idea of Aphrodite rising from the sea was inspired by the courtesan Phryne, who, during the time of the festivals of the Eleusinia and Poseidonia, often swam nude in the sea. A scallop shell, often found in Venus Anadyomenes, is a symbol of the female vulva.
   The subject never entirely disappeared in Western art, and revived greatly in the Italian Renaissance, with further boosts in the Baroque and Rococo, and in late 19th-century Academic painting. At least, one central female nude is practically required in the subject, which has contributed to its popularity.
   According to Greek mythology, Aphrodite was born as an adult woman from the sea, which also perpetually renewed her virginity. A motif of the goddess wringing out her hair is often repeated.
   The subject was often repeated in Antiquity, a fourth-century sculptural representation from a Gallo-Roman villa in Aquitania testifying to the motif's continued viability in Late Antiquity. Apelles' painting was executed for the temple of Asclepius at Kos, from which it was taken to Rome by Augustus in part payment of tri
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