Student Research Projects

Appropriating the Image of Venus and Adapting the Iconography

Student Valerie Miller, '19
Department Art History
Course Art History 232: Renaissance to 20th-Century Art


The purpose of this project was to examine the ideologies of women in society as they were depicted through images of Venus in works of art. This was approached by analyzing a collection of images that portray Venus and looking at how that fantastical representation of a woman reflected on the actual societal standing and roles of women, particularly from a male viewpoint. The result of such analysis showed how the objectification, idealization, and erotic allegory found with images of Venus and women built up a strongly fortified and longstanding iconography of women in works of art that is difficult to overcome.