• Antiquities auction at Christies

    Sale 5487

    Antiquities

    29 April 2010, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 94

    A ROMAN MARBLE TORSO OF APHRODITE

    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    A ROMAN MARBLE TORSO OF APHRODITE
    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.
    The naked goddess standing with weight on left leg, right leg bent at the knee, a contrapposto twist to her body, her diaphanous cloak falling from her left shoulder, down to the back of her knees, curving sensuously around her right buttock and hip, and gathered up in a knot between her thighs with folds hanging down to her knee, mounted
    28½ in. (72.5 cm.) high


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    This style of figure seems to have been adapted and closely influenced by the semi-draped "Arles" Aphrodite of the 4th Century B.C. sculptor Praxiteles, which was produced a few years earlier than his fully nude Aphrodite of Knidos. The drapery is similar to an Aphrodite found in the French town of Agen, cf. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologicae Classicae, vol. II, 'Aphrodite', pl. 707. The depression on her left hip would suggest the presence of a strut to hold her left arm which would have come across her body at the front, her hand either touching or resting just above the knot of drapery - similar to that of the Townley or Aphrodite of Ostia now in the British Museum (BM 1574), f. LIMC, pl. 729.

    Special Notice

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    Provenance

    Formerly in a 19th Century Swiss private collection; sold Sotheby's New York, 13th June 2002, lot 85.