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Friday, January 20, 2017

Capitoline Venus (4th Century B.C.E.)

This is in the style of  Aphrodite of Knidos by Praxiteles, and it is something to behold.The original version of this, from the high classical period in Greece, was rumored to be the most viewed art in the ancient world, more popular than even the pyramids at Giza.  Why was this so?  One is that while it was very common at the time to depict men naked, to have naked women was new.  Venus is depicted just stepping out of the bath, her towel at her side.  Her hand is demurely over her genitalia, but as you move around the statue, her hand appears to be in fact pointing at her genitalia, to invite the viewer so see what all the fuss is about.  she had an expression on her face that is hard to interpret, is she coy or seductive?  She is standing on one leg, with the other knee coming forward, which is a stance that started at this point in time, but continued for a very long time.  It gives the figure an S-shaped stance overall that is quite attractive.  This version is in its own alcove in the Capitoline Museum, and is well worth seeing in person.

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