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Marble statue of Aphrodite

Period:
Imperial
Date:
1st or 2nd century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
H. with plinth 62 1/2 in. (158.8 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, 1952
Accession Number:
52.11.5
  • Description

    Copy of a Greek statue of the 3rd or 2nd century B.C.
    The lower legs have been restored with casts taken from the Roman copy in Florence known as the Medici Venus.

    The goddess of love is shown as though surprised at her bath. Originally, her arms reached forward to shield her breasts and pubis in a gesture that both concealed and accentuated her sexuality.

    Statues of Aphrodite in the nude proliferated during the Hellenistic period. All were inspired to some degree by the Aphrodite of Knidos, created in the fourth century B.C. by the famous Greek sculptor Praxiteles. That statue, the first major Greek work to show the goddess nude, was celebrated throughout antiquity. This work has the same gesture of modesty and is similar to another Roman copy, the so-called Medici Venus, which has stood in the Tribuna of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence since 1688.

  • References

    Alexander, Christine. 1953. "A Statue of Aphrodite." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 11 (9): pp. 241-51, bulletin cover.

    von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1958. "Greek Marble Sculptures." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 16 (6): pp. 187, 192.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1970. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries. New York: Dutton.

    Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. Cambridge, England, p. 549.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1984. Aphrodisias-Athena, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 2. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Aphrodite, no. 420.

    Cittadini, Rita. 1997. "Figure Femminili di Lisippo." Bollettino D'Arte, 100: pp. 64, 70, figs. 16a-b, 29.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 435, pp. 374, 491.

  • See also
    What
    Where
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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