oil on canvas

300 x 100 cm

This larger-than-life image of a naked, pregnant woman was born out of Dumas’ endeavor to create a different type of Venus. Trawling through art history Dumas used various models and muses and made them her own. She based this image on Inanna, also known as Ishtar, the Sumerian predecessor of Aphrodite and Venus, and likewise a goddess of love, sex and fertility. Inanna is often depicted with her hands raised on either side of her head. It is an ancient pose, replete with spiritual resonances. 

At the time this painting was made, Marlene’s daughter Helena was pregnant. She gave birth to her son Eden on the day of the opening of Marlene’s exhibition Myths & Mortals, where Birth was shown for the first time.