Aristide Maillol worked for more than ten years on the bronze sculpture Venus, portraying the Roman goddess of love in modern form. Like many other artists after World War I, Maillol was also looking for “order,” studying Antiquity intensively, and deliberately keeping a certain distance to the avant-garde. This is how he came to associate himself with the philosophy based on Jean Cocteau’s collection of essays Le Rappel à l’ordre (1926), which considered victorious France to be the true heiress of Antiquity. Essentially, Maillol’s Venus goes back to the classical torso he had created in 1910 for the mythical figure Summer. Like this sculpture, Maillol developed his Venus in a succession of steps: For example, she was featured without arms in a publication of 1925, and then, in 1928, she was exhibited with arms and a necklace. The Bremen version shows Venus without attributes, prompting the viewer to concentrate on the figure. The figure’s modeling, contrapposto stance, and evenly cut profile correspond to the classical ideal of beauty. But this is belied by the well-developed, heavy body parts, which Maillol reduced to basic, stereometric forms. With Maillol’s nudes, physicality overrides expression, lending them an air of timelessness.