• The William F. Reilly Collecti auction at Christies

    Sale 2273

    The William F. Reilly Collection

    14 October 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 58

    A GREEK MARBLE APHRODITE PONTIA-EUPLOIA

    HELLENISTIC PERIOD, CIRCA 1ST CENTURY B.C.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GREEK MARBLE APHRODITE PONTIA-EUPLOIA
    HELLENISTIC PERIOD, CIRCA 1ST CENTURY B.C.
    The goddess partially draped in her himation, standing with her weight on her right leg, the left bent at the knee and positioned nearly in front of the left, her right arm originally lowered with the hand on her hip, the tip of one finger preserved, the right arm originally lowered and once resting on a marine attribute, perhaps the tail of a dolphin, the torsion of her body creating a pronounced S-curve, her mantle originally pulled up over the back of her head as a veil, tucked under her left arm and falling along her back and across her hips, enveloping her legs and exposing the front and right side of her sensuous torso, a bracelet coiled around her upper left arm
    39 in. (99 cm.) high


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    This version of the goddess Aphrodite, known from about twenty ancient replicas, is traditionally associated with the epithets Pontia (of the sea) and Euploia (fair voyage). According to Vermuele and Brauer (Stone Sculptures, The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums, p. 50-51), the original is traditionally thought to be from the time of Praxiteles, circa 350 B.C., and may have stood in a temple by the sea. However, the draped head, elongated body and hipshot pose suggests that the original of these copies was created in the Hellenistic world, perhaps on the island of Rhodes, circa 150 B.C. The present example, like the version at Harvard (no. 34 in Vermeule and Brauer, op. cit.), is approximately two-thirds lifesized. The most complete example from the Ince Blundell Hall, now in Liverpool, preserves the veiled head, which wears a diadem, and the dolphin support, confirming that the type represents Aphrodite rather than a nymph (see no. 599 in Delivorrias, "Aphrodite" in LIMC). The type was also appropriated by the Romans for private portraiture; see the example in the Capitoline Museum, Rome, with a Trajanic portrait, no. 71 in Schmidt, "Venus" in LIMC.

    Provenance

    with Merrin Gallery, New York, 1993.