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Venus Uncovered: Ancient Goddess of Love

Bettany Hughes explores Venus, goddess of love, discovering her surprising roots and modern relevance.

In 1914, the suffragette Mary Richardson attacked the Rokeby Venus at the National Gallery in London. But why did this painting fire such outrage? Professor Bettany Hughes embarks on a voyage of discovery to reveal the truth behind the Venus depicted in the painting, proving that this mythological figure is so much more than just an excuse for sensual nudity and chocolate-box romance. Venus Uncovered is the remarkable story of one of antiquity's most potent forces, and more than that. Hers is the story of human desire, and how desire transforms who we are and how we behave.

Charting Venus's origins in powerful ancient deities, Bettany demonstrates that Venus is far more complex than first meets the eye. Beginning in Cyprus, the goddess's mythical birthplace, she explores the mysterious and obscure ways this ancient goddess was imagined and looks into Venus's own love life to see that, even for her, tangling with another was often bittersweet.

Through ancient art, evocative myth, exciting archaeological revelations and philosophical explorations Bettany reveals how this immortal goddess endures through to the 21st century, and what her story and journey through time reveals about what matters to us as humans. Uncovering Venus shows us why we still need to care about this primordial companion on the human journey - and how we trivialise her power at our peril.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 15 Feb 2019 03:00


Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:37

    Todd Hannigan

    Thicker Than Water


Role Contributor
Presenter Bettany Hughes
The Goddess May Evans
Voice of Homer and Hesiod Stephen Rashbrook
Production Company SandStone Global Productions Ltd
Director Mary Cranitch
Director Jack MacInnes
Executive Producer Rachel Bell
Executive Producer Mark Bell
Executive Producer Emma De'Ath
Editor Alex Muggleton


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