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Velázquez’s 'The Rokeby Venus'

Gallery Educator Fiona Alderton explores ‘The Toilet of Venus (The Rokeby Venus)’ by Velázquez, in 10 minutes

  • 10-minute film
  • Watch on demand, for free
  • Available only to Members

Experience the National Gallery's collection like never before with our new exclusive 'National Treasures' film series. A key strand of the National Gallery's Bicentenary celebrations, we will discover 12 paintings which will be loaned from the Gallery's collection to partner venues throughout the UK, providing expert commentary on these iconic masterpieces. In the sixth instalment of the series, we take a close look at Velázquez’s only surviving female nude and one of his most celebrated works, 'The Rokeby Venus'.

Learn about the mythological figures, body shapes, colours and composition, as well as the impact the painting has had on society through history.

Its nickname, ‘The Rokeby Venus’, originates from Rokeby Park, a country house in County Durham, where the painting hung for much of the 19th century.


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Fiona Alderton

Fiona Alderton is a Gallery Educator and storyteller. With a background in performing, she writes and gives sessions for adults and children, including commissions for various organisations such as the National Portrait Gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery, and the Royal Opera House in London.

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