Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

About the work

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This cheeky porcelain sculpture of Minerva, the Roman goddess of war, depicts the goddess as a plump, playful young woman. Her colorful floral skirt is a far cry from Minerva’s traditional flowing robes. This Minerva is coquettish, not bellicose. Her feather-topped helmet is purely decorative. Her sword and shield are mere props for her to lean on as she flirtatiously emphasizes her hips and rear. She is a product of the late-Baroque era, also called Rococo. This 18th-century style emphasized ornate decoration, curved lines, and asymmetrical ornamentation. Artists at the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory in Munich, Germany made this sculpture. The manufactory continues to produce porcelain into the 21st century.

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