Oh, Venus: She’s got it / Ella lo tiene

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

I LEARNED ABOUT THE VENUS of Fuengirola when we first arrived here in town more than 8-1/2 years ago (gasp), but although I read at the time (and can still read) that the statue is on display at Fuengirola’s local museum, that hasn’t been the case. No one seemed to even know it existed until, on my third or fourth try, a guard at the museum told me it was in storage somewhere. What a waste.

But now that we have a new visitor centre at the Roman Ruins park, a 5-minute walk from home, Venus is back where she belongs. The visitor centre is small but charming and it’s only just begun. Venus was recently hauled out of storage and given her place of honor. She was uncovered by chance in 1979 in what had been a private villa bordering the Roman baths.

The centre is clearly a work in progress, and I was happy to find it open when I walked over to the park yesterday. I have too much to share in one post. Today, I’d like you to meet Venus. She doesn’t look all that bad considering she’s close to 2,000 years old.


APRENDÍ SOBRE LA VENUS DE Fuengirola cuando llegamos por primera vez a la ciudad hace más de 8-1 / 2 años (jadeo), pero aunque leí en ese momento (y todavía puedo leer) que la estatua está en exhibición en el museo local de Fuengirola, ese no ha sido el caso. Nadie parecía saber siquiera que existía hasta que en mi tercer o cuarto intento, un guardia del museo me dijo que estaba almacenado en alguna parte. Que desperdicio. 

Pero ahora que tenemos un nuevo centro de visitantes en el Yacimiento Arqueologico Romano (Finca del Secretario), a 5 minutos a pie de casa, Venus está de regreso a donde pertenece. El centro de visitantes es pequeño pero encantador y apenas ha comenzado. Venus fue sacada recientemente del almacén y se le dio su lugar de honor. Fue descubierta por casualidad en 1979 en lo que había sido una villa privada lindando con los baños romanos.

El centro es claramente un trabajo en progreso, pero me alegré de encontrarlo abierto cuando entré al parque ayer. Tengo demasiado para compartir en una entrada. Hoy, me gustaría que conocieras a Venus. No se ve tan mal considerando que tiene cerca de 2.000 años.

Pottery and sections of fresco from the 1st century.
Cerámica y secciones de frescos del siglo I.
In Roman times, Fuengirola was known as Suel.
En época romana, Fuengirola fue conocida como Suel.


And because I couldn’t make up my mind, you get two songs.
Y como no pude tomar una decisión, les doy dos canciones.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

46 thoughts on “Oh, Venus: She’s got it / Ella lo tiene”

    1. Frank:
      I hear some of their descendants live in the US Southwest and continued the cooking traditions.

  1. My ads looks mich the same when someone takes a bit out of it!!!! I miss museums so this was nice.

      1. anne marie:
        I have to admit, I thought of Maddie… except for missing the right cheek.

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      Her half-ass made me think of Candide and the “Old Woman” who becomes her servant. “Painful though it will be for me with only one buttock, I will ride behind my mistress.”

  2. Really quite amazing and wonderful that it remains at or near where it was found. I love the pottery. I wouldn’t have made it as an archeologist, all of that time on your knees in the dirt.

    1. David:
      I know what you mean. Other than the thought of being on my knees in the dirt, archeology fascinates me.

  3. Fascinating that this has survived. Since she has no head maybe that is why her torso has taken on a facial expression. I LOVE the pottery and always wanted to be an archaeologist……thus my major undergrad degree. Life got in the way of that. what a find this is!

    1. Jim:
      I hadn’t noticed the “face” until I read your comment! I have always been fascinated by archaeology. Don’t know why I never considered it. The idea of reassembling antiquities is heaven to me.

  4. The Venus of Fuengirola has weathered the passing of time much better than either of those 2 songs!

    Did you see the Islamic hammam that was that rediscovered during the recent remodeling of a bar in Sevilla? Still not quite as old as the Venus of Fuengirola. I wonder if you and SG ever went to that bar? It is the Cervercería Giralda located near the cathedral.

  5. Venus got it and appears to have lost a bit of it! True of us all by the time we’ve aged…either that or we have a bit too much. There are days when I feel like Venus looks…now. Scrapes and all.

  6. You say Venus and I think planet. She looks like an alien face 🙂 Thanks for the English subtitles to the Shocking Blue song. I’ve been mishearing and singing the lyrics all kinds of wrong since it first came out. It makes more since now.

    1. Deedles:
      I love when I find both Spanish and English subtitles together. The English is often a revelation to me, too. And I hadn’t noticed Venus’ face until reading comments.

  7. Yes, Venus looks great for her age! The painted pottery fragments are charming too, I think.

    1. Debra:
      I was awe-struck by the fresco pieces. Just imagining what it all must have looked like. I’m really excited at the thought of digging up the villa next.

  8. The mention in the photo of the Venus Pudica started me on a search for that term because I’d read about it on an art website recently. Here’s what I found:

    “Venus pudica” is a term used to describe a classic figural pose in Western art. In this, an unclothed female (either standing or reclining) keeps one hand covering her private parts. (She is a modest lass, this Venus.) The resultant pose – which is not, incidentally, applicable to the male nude – is somewhat asymmetrical and often serves to draw one’s eye to the very spot being hidden.

    The word “pudica” comes to us by way of the Latin “pudendus”, which can mean either external genitalia or shame, or both simultaneously.

    1. TexasTrailerParkTrash:
      I had never heard of Venus Púdica until reading the sign. Also, didn’t make the pudendus connection (which should have been obvious). Fascinating.

      1. For the sake of complete information: The modest Venus was created in the 4th cent BCE by the Greek painter Zeuxis. The prototype was a public mural painting of Aphrodite rising from her bath with one arm covering her breasts and the other covering the nethers. It was an immediate sensation, and immediately duplicated in both paint and stone. Botticelli’s Venus is an example of its endurance. The sensation was that this was the first female nude in Greek art. In Athenian art in particular, males, in particular male gods, were almost always nude, while female figures were usually draped head to toe. The exposure of the female body was considered indecent (lots going on there with the status of women in Athens). What Zeuxis did was create a female figure that was both nude and observed the conventions of decency. The female nude has been with us ever since and, as the years passed even in antiquity, the arms got more and more relaxed eventually creating the full female nude.

  9. I love those fresco fragments. It would be interesting to see the whole thing. Venus is quite a find! I wonder what the bump is in her mid-abdomen, between her breasts and her navel? Would the arm have crossed there, maybe, and been attached to that bump?

    1. Steve:
      Maybe when they dig up the villa, they’ll be able reassemble more of the art. I assume that bump is where the arm crossed. I would guess it’s part of the forearm itself. I’m hoping they find her head, arm, and cloth when they dig up the rest of the villa.

  10. You are so fortunate to have archeological ruins in your area, I absolutely love them. Canada has almost nothing as isn’t old enough. Is it just me or are her boobies, and the 2 still protruding pieces of her arm look like a face? 🙂 We visited the fortress and roman forum in Malaga when we were there.

    1. Cheapchick:
      It still amazes me to see these things where they originally stood. And, no, it’s not just you! A number of people commented on Venus’ other “face.” I hadn’t noticed, but you’re absolutely right. The ruins in Málaga are incredible.

      1. janie:
        Have you read “Candide”? I thought of the Old Lady character and thought maybe she posed for the statue.

      1. Walt the Fourth:
        I understood. (I turned off all my autocorrect. Now, everything is my own fault.)

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