The Birth of Venus (Aurora) is a combination in marble of three motifs from plaster casts created by Rodin in 1880. The crouching figure is taken from The Sphinx, while Venus is derived from two earlier casts, Headless, reclining female Nude and Kneeling Man. In the case of the first two, Rodin replaced the horizontal format with the vertical one that we see here. In addition, he changed the features of the Kneeling Man into that of Venus, the paradigm of female beauty.
In The Birth of Venus (Aurora) Rodin emphasised the Michelangelesque concept of sculpture as something that emerges from the stone, not only through the contrast between the finish or finite of the figures and the non finite of the base, but also through the inherent movement within the group and the juxtaposition of horizontals and verticals.