Photos of Aphrodite or Venus. Venus statue Pictures

Greek Classical Period Statue of Aphrodite made of Parian marble. Restored by the famous Italian Sculptor A. Canova ( 1757 - 1822 ), Aphrodite is standing nude apart from a richly draped himation which she retains with her left hand in front of her pudenda. 4th c. BC. Athens National Archaeological Museum cat No 3524, from the collection of Lord Hope, donated by M. Embeirikos in 1924.

One of the great iconic statues is the Venus de Milos in the Louvre but there are far more seductive statues of Greek Aphrodite, Venus to the Romans, in the museums around the world and they are all based on 3 Greek classical statues created over 2500 years ago. This photo gallery is dedicated to the allure of Aphrodite that has kept her at the forefront of Classical art for so long. I hope you enjoy the photos, Paul Williams.



 

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Photos of Aphrodite or Venus Statues

Ancient sculptures of Aphrodite, Venus to the Romans. Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation and according to Homers Iliad was the daughter of Zeus and Dione on the island of Cyprus rising from the sea. In Greek mythology she is feared by the other Greek Gods because they thought her beauty would lead to rival suiters amongst the Gods that would lead to war. Accordingly Zeus, her father married her to Hephaestus who was ugly and deformed and was not seen to be a threat. Aphrodite was not happy in the marriage and had many lovers such as Ares, Anchises and was, as happens in the convoluted myths of the Greek Gods, both the surrogate mother and lover of Adonis. The ancient Greeks identified Aphrodite with the Egyptian goddess Hathor and she was also know as Cytherea, Lady of Cythera and Cyris, Lady of Cyprus.

Aphrodite is portrayed in Greek Mythology as the ultimate temptress of astounding beauty. She did not have a childhood but was born a nubile infinitely desirable adult. The cult of Aphrodite spread all over Greece and she became the focus of sexual desire. At the temple of Aphrodite on the summit of Acrocorinth intercourse with priestesses was seen to be a method of worshiping Aphrodite.

Greek sculptures tussled with how to portray such a potent Goddess and in around 360 BC and Athenian sculpture named Praxiteles created a statue known as the Aphrodite of Thespiae. Aphrodite is depicted standing draped from the waist down. The upper half of her body is naked and her right hand is stretched out holding a Golden apple which she won in the Judgement of Paris which started the Trojan wars. Aphrodite looks down slightly to one side as if modestly accepting the Golden apple but the pose has a seductive power. Praxiteles Aphrodite became so famous that the infamous Greek courtesan Phryne, who was also famous for her beauty, ordered a version for which she is said to be the model and which the Venus of Arles in the Louvre is believed to be a copy of.

Venus de Milo ( Aphrodite of Milos ) A 203 cm (6 ft 8 in)  marble statue from the Greek Island of Milos sculpted in 130 and 100 BC thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch;. Louvre Museum, Paris.  The Aphrodite of Milos was discovered on 8 April 1820 by a peasant named Yorgos Kentrotas, inside a buried niche within the ancient city ruins of Milos, the current village of Tripiti, on the island of Milos  in the Aegean, which was then a part of the Ottoman Empire. The statue was purchase by the French ambassador to Turkey and it was shipped to France. Legend has it that the statues arms were broken off during transport but this story however proved to be a fabrication – Voutier's drawings of the statue when it was first discovered show that its arms were already missing. In 1815, France had returned the Medici Venus,  to the Italians after it had been looted from Italy by Napoleon Bonaparte. The Medici Venus, regarded as one of the finest Classical sculptures in existence, caused the French to promote the Venus de Milo as a greater treasure than that which they recently had lost. The de Milo statue was praised dutifully by many artists and critics as the epitome of graceful female beauty. However, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was among its detractors, labeling it a "big gendarme". (Paul E Williams)
Venus de Milo ( Aphrodite of Milos ) A 203 cm (6 ft 8 in) marble statue from the Greek Island of Milos sculpted in 130 and 100 BC thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch;. Louvre Museum, Paris. The Aphrodite of Milos was discovered on 8 April 1820 by a peasant named Yorgos Kentrotas, inside a buried niche within the ancient city ruins of Milos, the current village of Tripiti, on the island of Milos in the Aegean, which was then a part of the Ottoman Empire. The statue was purchase by the French ambassador to Turkey and it was shipped to France. Legend has it that the statues arms were broken off during transport but this story however proved to be a fabrication – Voutier's drawings of the statue when it was first discovered show that its arms were already missing. In 1815, France had returned the Medici Venus, to the Italians after it had been looted from Italy by Napoleon Bonaparte. The Medici Venus, regarded as one of the finest Classical sculptures in existence, caused the French to promote the Venus de Milo as a greater treasure than that which they recently had lost. The de Milo statue was praised dutifully by many artists and critics as the epitome of graceful female beauty. However, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was among its detractors, labeling it a "big gendarme". (Paul E Williams)

The most famous Aphrodite based on the Aphrodite of Thespiae is not attributed to Praxiteles though but to the sculptor Alexandros of Antioch who in around 100BC sculpted the Venus de Milo on the Greek island of Milos. The Venus de Milo has become an icon of love and beauty. The statue is missing its arms but this lack of perfection only seems to heighten the enigmatic power over the viewer which has made her so famous.

Praxiteles love affair with the depiction of Aphrodite led him to be more daring and sculpt the first known fully female nude Greek statue, the Aphrodite of Cnidus, that still influence artists today. Aphrodite is depicted standing by a vase of water preparing for the rival bath that will restore her purity. She is holding a towel in her left hand whilst her right hand covers her naked vulva which both shields her womanhood and draws attention to her nudity in a powerful way. She looks wistfully to one side as if hiding her modesty from an unseen viewer or perhaps tempting him by hiding her nudity. This style of Aphrodite statue is known by academics as the “Modest Venus” or Venus Pudica and was a popular style copied later by the Romans which can be seen in the famous Venus of Medici and Capitoline Venus versions.

Greek Classical Period Statue of Aphrodite made of Parian marble. Restored by the famous Italian Sculptor A. Canova ( 1757 - 1822 ), Aphrodite is standing nude apart from a richly draped himation which she retains with her left hand in front of her pudenda. 4th c. BC. Athens National Archaeological Museum cat No 3524, from the collection of Lord Hope, donated by M. Embeirikos in 1924. This statue of Aphrodite is a variant of the Aphrodite (Venus) of Cnidus and is a copy of a 2nd century AD copy of a 4th century  original by the ancient Greek sculptor Praxiteles of Athens. As with the Capitaline Venus, Aphrodite is rising from bathing and is covering her breasts with her right hand, unlike the other known variants of this pose the Aphrodite of the Athens museum is covered from the waste down with a drape. (Paul Edward Williams)
Greek Classical Period Statue of Aphrodite made of Parian marble. Restored by the famous Italian Sculptor A. Canova ( 1757 – 1822 ), Aphrodite is standing nude apart from a richly draped himation which she retains with her left hand in front of her pudenda. 4th c. BC. Athens National Archaeological Museum cat No 3524, from the collection of Lord Hope, donated by M. Embeirikos in 1924. This statue of Aphrodite is a variant of the Aphrodite (Venus) of Cnidus and is a copy of a 2nd century AD copy of a 4th century original by the ancient Greek sculptor Praxiteles of Athens. As with the Capitaline Venus, Aphrodite is rising from bathing and is covering her breasts with her right hand, unlike the other known variants of this pose the Aphrodite of the Athens museum is covered from the waste down with a drape. (Paul Edward Williams)

In the Natural History by Pliny the Elder a style of Venus was described that is known as the crouching or bathing Venus or Aphrodite. This statue style is attributed to a lost Greek. Hellenistic bronze statue of the mid 3rd century BC attributed to the Greek sculptor Doldalsas of Bethynia. Aphrodite is shown crouching with her right knee close to the ground. She turns her head to the right and, in most versions, reaches her right arm over to her left shoulder to cover her breasts. She has a look of surprise on her face as if she has been disturbed whilst bathing wrapping around her body to hide her breasts and nakedness. The full power of this style of Aphrodite statue can be seen in the version in the British museum. The viewer can walk around the statue and see Aphrodite from every angle and see that she is naked yet she reveals nothing. The crouching Venus is one of the most seductive Aphrodite styles portraying the full power of the beauty and irresistible of the Aphrodite myth.

Lely’s Venus (Aphrodite) Greek goddess of love, 1st 2nd century Roman Copy of a lost Greek original. This style of Aphrodite statue is known as the Crouching or bathing Aphrodite. Her arms stretch across in front of her and her right hand gently touches her right shoulder hiding her breasts. she looks to one side in surprise as if disturbed whilst bathing. Walking around the statue reveals 4 distinct viewpoints that tantalise the viewer and reveal nothing of Aphrodites nakedness. This statue is a  2nd century Roman copy of a lost Greek. Hellanistic original of the mid 3rd century BC Bronze attributed to the Greek sculptor Doldalsas of Bethynia. British Museum, London. (Paul E Williams)
Lely’s Venus (Aphrodite) Greek goddess of love, 1st 2nd century Roman Copy of a lost Greek original. This style of Aphrodite statue is known as the Crouching or bathing Aphrodite. Her arms stretch across in front of her and her right hand gently touches her right shoulder hiding her breasts. she looks to one side in surprise as if disturbed whilst bathing. Walking around the statue reveals 4 distinct viewpoints that tantalise the viewer and reveal nothing of Aphrodites nakedness. This statue is a 2nd century Roman copy of a lost Greek. Hellanistic original of the mid 3rd century BC Bronze attributed to the Greek sculptor Doldalsas of Bethynia. British Museum, London. (Paul E Williams)

From these Aphrodite sculpture styles many later versions evolved. The Romans were seduced by Aphrodite, or Venus as they called her, and made a variety of versions of the statue styles. The power of Aphrodite did not end with the fall of the western Roman Empire. In the rebirth of the classical Era in the 15th century known as the Renaissance, Roman sculptures of Aphrodite acquired by the Medici family led to them commissioning “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli. Botticelli draws heavily on the Greek “Modest Venus” statue style with the variation that the venus hides her modesty with her long locks of hair. The painting also seems to depict virginal innocence rather than the Greek Aphrodite the temptress.

The Greek sculptures of Aphrodite are a high point in mans creative and sculptural skills. The great Greek sculptors like Praxiteles and Doldalsas of Bethynia made stone into palpable flesh. They managed to turn the inanimate bronze into an animate seductive goddess that through Roman copies still seduce visitors to the great museums of the world today.


Statue of Aphrodite, a 2nd century Roman Copy. This sculpture depicts Aphrodite in the typical pose known as the Modest Aphrodite style or Dresden-Capitoline type and is a copy of a lost 4th century BC Aphrodite of Cnidos sculpture by Athenian sculpture Praxiteles. Naples National Archaeological Museum, Italy (Paul E Williams) Aphrodite Crouching whilst bathing. The Goddess of love Aphrodite, Venus to the Romans is depicted crouching whilst bathing, she looks to one side as if surprised by something. In this style of Aphrodite statue her arms stretch across in front of her and her right hand gently touches her right shoulder. In this variant of the style she is accompanied by Eros, traces of whose feet and hand survive, and a swan. This statue is a  2nd century Roman copy of a lost Greek. Hellanistic original of the mid 3rd century BC attributed to the Greek sculptor Doldalsas of Bethynia. This version of Aphrodite Bathing made around AD 117-138 is the most artistically successful version know. Capitoline Museums, Rome (Paul E Williams) Aphrodite of Fréjus in the style known as "Venus Genetrix". A 1.64m high Roman statue, dating from the end of the 1st century BC to the start of the 1st century AD, in Parian marble, was discovered at Fréjus (Forum Julii) in 1650. It is considered as the best Roman copy of the lost Greek work. Louvre Museum, Paris The Venus Genetrix style of statue depicts Aphrodite (Venus to the Romans) as Genetrix ( Latin for Mother). This sculptural type was adopted by the Julia-Claudian dynasty after Julius Caesar claimed that he was defended from Venus herself.  The original lost Greek statue is attributed to Greek sculpture Callimachus who created a Bronze Aphrodite in 420-410. According to Pliny's Natural History showing her dressed in a light but clinging chiton or peplos, which was lowered on the left shoulder to reveal her left breast and hung down in a sheer face and decoratively carved so as not to hide the outlines of the woman's body. Venus was depicted holding the apple won in the Judgement of Paris in her left hand, whilst her right hand moved to cover her head. From the lost bronze original are derived all surviving copies. The composition was frontal, the body's form monumental, and in the surviving Roman replicas its proportions are close to the Polyclitean, an ancient Greek sculptor in bronze of the fifth century BC. (Paul E Williams)


 

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