reclining venus

Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borghese, the beautiful, wild and thoroughly dreadful younger sister of Napoléon was born on this day in 1780. Difficult and infuriating though Pauline was, particularly towards her sister in law Joséphine whom she absolutely detested, her sculpture as a reclining Venus Victrix by Canova is a masterpiece of gorgeousness. Apparently when it was first completed, Pauline had it covered in a layer of wax (recently restored) and displayed by candlelight in order to make it appear all the more lifelike.