APHRODITIE: A GREEK STATUE
A STATUE OF APHRODITE, GREEK GODDESS OF LOVE
A beautiful but broken statue, yet still quite lifelike. In the picture of the Greek statue from xxx century BC, identified as 'Aphrodite the Greek Goddess of Love' in the Museum Catalogue, the totally nude young woman with loosely bound-up hair stands just slightly bent forward--with torso twisted slightly to the right and with her head also slightly turned to the right as she faces us, apparently looking at something we can't see. Face is calm and receptive--yet seems alert and perceptive, as she studies the situation around her. What is she looking at and why is she bending over slightly like that? Was the figure originally perhaps an outdoor sculpture and was she at first perhaps looking out towards a gap in the foliage or through some trees? At the site where she once stood, was there perhaps another sculpture standing not far from her and which she's still gazing at, as if she expected him or her to come to life?
Her left knee's raised, as if she's propping up her left leg on something-- perhaps to obtain leverage in order to lean over and get a better view of what she's looking at? Propping up her bare left foot up on a rock or even a small boulder, perhaps--but whatever that something was, no doubt it was not part of the statue, and is therefore not appropriate to speculate about here. Or is this perhaps a young woman stepping out of some small or large declevity of some kind in the terrain in which she's been standing, such as the ground scooped out shallowly--or a pond, or a lake; or even the sea? Or is this a statue perhaps of Aphrodite--born once from furious torrents of waves--but now simply stepping out of a bathtub; and is what she's alert to & looking out for, the possibility, simply, of being spied upon?
Pictures exist from Roman times of Venus--the Roman version of Aphrodite--in the process of fending off Pan.
In view of still unruffled serenity and beauty of the young woman, it's somewhat painful to behold the areas of the sculpture which were long ago broken off from the figure--either accidentally, or deliberately by vandals. Alas, the missing parts of the statue include both arms, broken off several inches above the elbows and just below the shoulders. And broken off just below the left kneecap of the work is the entire left leg below its bended knee--which Museum Curators in recent centuries have propped up on either a slab of transparent glass or else lucite. But the serenity of the face reassures us today--in a young century already filled with too many images of truncated figures which have suffered outrageous violence--that issues of pain aren't involved here; and that she, at least, is not suffering. The Greek statue of Aphrodite from xxx century BC, isn't a modern much less contemporary work, after all! And so it would be inappropriate to make that interpretion as well --even though some 21st century visitors strolling around the Museum in which she's located, and viewing this ancient statue of Aphrodite in the setting in which she's been on display for the past 1000 years, no doubt will.
The statue's apparently been hewn from yellow marble. Or else--some
Art Historians tell us with assurance--marble which over the course of more
than 2000 years of time has turned yellow. But it's hard to imagine that
the original material itself, was not yellow or even tinted gold marble of some kind--
because the way it looks now, the surface patina of this cold marble statue
evokes IMHO, the luminous color of a divinely attractive young woman's smooth
and even flawless, radiant firm skin, almost perfectly. O
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