The Goddess of Love in Greek mythology: Venus maybe the most well-known to the art student in Asia, at least in Japan, Taiwan, and Mainland China. Because She appears in every art class as the first bust in plaster to be study and paint in charcoal for the training of every art student in Asia, probably brought back by Japanese art teachers from Paris where they learnt the Western art since the Meiji Restoration in 1868. In the early period of the 20th century, art students in Taiwan and Mainland China went to study Japan to study Western art, and the class there used to train students with copying the plaster bust of Venus de Milo which became the “Must” of art education for the people dreaming to be an artist in Western tradition such as Dr. Chen who had painted the white bust of Venus in charcoal at least 200 times to understand the essence of Western art when he was young.
It seems that Venus in Greek mythology is the initial model for the Western tradition of female nude painting beginning from Giogione’s “Sleeping Venus” (1510) which is finished by his pupil Titian who accomplished a series of recumbent nudes starting from “Venus of Urbino” in 1538, a splendid full length nude. Dr. Chen was very much inspired by this masterpiece that he recreated her in post-modern global settings so that she can come to Tahiti etc. and in different transformed appearances to enjoy our age of tourism.