“The Venus of this picture is no Aphrodite, fresh and white and jubilant from the foam of Idalian seas, nor is she Love incarnate or human passion; but she is a queen of Love who loves not herself, a desire that is unsatiable and remorseless, absolute, supreme. . . . She is the Lust of the Flesh that perisheth not, though around her loves and lives and dreams are evermore becoming as nought.”
— William Sharp, Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Record and a Study, 204-207.