2nd-1st Century BC
Overall: 66.3 x 36.2 cm (26 1/8 x 14 1/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1988.9
This torso is based on the Aphrodite of Knidos, a Greek original by the master sculptor Praxiteles.
No single sculpture in the history of Western art has been more influential than Praxiteles’s Knidian Aphrodite, carved in the 4th century BC. The first sculpted nude figure of the goddess of love, it became a famous tourist attraction and made Praxiteles a celebrity in the Greek world. The shocking originality of showing the goddess unaware that she had been seen emerging from her bath made a lasting impression. It became a prototype for generations of Greek and Roman sculptors. Its popularity inspired many variations, including this one. The sensitivity of the carving, seen to advantage in the wet hair falling on the shoulders, imparts a dynamic sensuality.
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