A work in marble by the Flemish sculptor and bronze worker Giambologna, commissioned around 1575 by the Medicis for the Boboli Gardens in Florence.The artist has infused the formal structure of the Venus with a sense of movement and precarious balance, which gives a decidedly anticlassical air to its Michelangelesque forms.The figure is shown with an almost unnatural twisting movement that originates in the left shoulder, which is turned backwards, and terminates in her hand which is resting on some drapery, which in turn covers an amphora. Her face, which is looking down, is turned so far to her right that her chin is in line with her shoulder, which is twisted forwards with her right hand resting on her left shoulder.
As with Michelangelo's sculptures, there are multiple viewpoints and, because of the accentuated twisting of her body, the Venus can be viewed with pleasure from any direction. Unnatural and anti-classical poses were typical of Mannerism, where artistic experimentation was directed towards new and improbable human figures, where an elegant formalism made up for a lack of content. Mythological and historical subjects were reduced to pretexts for exhibiting brilliant virtuoso technique, as can be clearly seen in the work of Giambologna, one of the greatest Mannerist artists of the second half of the sixteenth century.He is particularly famous for his work in bronze, and to cope with innumerable requests, he organized a specialized workshop where there was certainly no lack of work. This clearly testifies to the popularity of his formal inventions among the highly cultured collectors who commissioned works.