Scala/Art Resource, NY

By contrast (compare with photo of slave figurines), the decorously disrobed figure in this photo—a life-size, second-century A.D. marble carving of the goddess Venus—is modest and demure: She has been “clothed” by art. According to author Larissa Bonfante, this difference between images of the plain “naked” body and images of the idealized “nude” body is crucial for understanding ancient (and modern) attitudes toward sexuality.