Venus Roman Sculpture, c. 170 BCE


The torso and limbs to knee of the Goddess of Love following Praxiteles (395 - 330 BCE)  Aphrodite of Knidos or Cnidus (4th century BCE), which was the first life-sized representation of the female form in Greek history, and seen as the heroic female form balancing the heroic male form that had dominated Greek art in the previous three centuries. (Similar versions are found in the Barberini Gallery, Borghese, Louvre, Uffizi, Capitoline Museum, J. Paul Getty Museum, and Vatican.)

Aphrodite is the Goddess of love, beauty, passion, and procreation. Temples throughout ancient Greece and Rome, were dedicated to her. The original statue by Praxiteles was commissioned for the Temple of Knidos, and is described by Lucian of Samosata (c. 125  to c. 180 ACE):

“The floor of the court had not been doomed to sterility by a stone pavement, but on the contrary, it burst with fertility, as behooves Aphrodite: fruit trees with verdant foliage rose to prodigious heights, their limbs weaving a lofty vault. The myrtle, beloved by the goddess, reached up its berry-laden branches no less than the other trees which so gracefully stretched out. They never know foliage grown old, their boughs always being thick with leaves. To tell the truth, you can notice among them some infertile trees, but they have beauty as their fruit. Such were the cypress and the planes which towered to the heavens, as well as the tree of Daphnis, who once fled Aphrodite but now has come here to seek refuge. Ivies entwine themselves lovingly around each of these trees. Heavy clusters of grapes hang from the gnarled vines: indeed, Aphrodite is only more attractive when united with Bacchus; their pleasures are sweeter for being mixed together. Apart, they have less spice. Under the welcome shade of the boughs, comfortable beds await the celebrants— actually the better people of the town only rarely frequent these green halls, but the common crowds jostle there on festive days, to yield publicly to the joys of love.” (Pseudo-Lucian, Erotes)

36" H / 40.75" H with base x 16" W x 12" D