The Aphrodite of Knidos and Her Successors: A Historical Review of the Female Nude in Greek Art
Description Christine Mitchell Havelock's book takes a much-needed new look at some of the most famous icons of Western art: the nude statues that the Greeks produced to represent Aphrodite, especially The Aphrodite of Knidos, by master sculptor Praxiteles. Cover image: Aphrodite from Rhodes, Rhodes Museum. Photo Hirmer Fotoarchiv Havelock focuses on the still-intended sacredness.
She believes that this reverent attitude, fostered by Praxiteles' groundbreaking monumental nude holy image, brought--to later courtesans and wives alike--self-respect and financial independence. All students of the classical and womanhood in general will enjoy this book--if they can take a little titillation. Worshipping Aphrodite.
DOI: The art of the sculptor has succeeded so well that it seems the marble has shed its hardness to mold the grace of her limbs Pseudo-Lucian, Erotes. Praxiteles created two statues: one fully clothed and the other naked.
Kos was horrified at the depiction of Aphrodite nude so they took the clothed statue. Knidos bought the remaining Aphrodite and she was installed in Knidos' sanctuary to the goddess, and thus gained a widespread cult-like following for its beauty. The statue was created for the temple of Aphrodite Euploia at Knidos and depicts a naked Aphrodite as she is interrupted while bathing. Pliny the Elder notes the circumstances of the Aphrodite:. One of them was draped, and because it was draped it was preferred by the people of Kos, who had first choice of the statues which were offered at the same price.
They thought this is the decent thing to do.
But the statue they refused was taken instead by the people of Knidos, and it was this statue which became renowned. Later King Nicomedes [of Kos] tried to buy it from the Knidians, promising to discharge their enormous state debt. But the Knidians resolutely held on to their statue, and rightly so: for it was the work Praxiteles which make Knidos famous.
This story is recorded in Pseudo-Lucian's Erotes section 15 : Lucian sails to Knidos, in which he calls it "Aphrodite's city", with two friends. One a Corinthian man, and the other an Athenian. They tour the entire city and then come upon the Aphrodite's temple. Once they get to the statue, and can observe that the figure is completely 'revealed', aside from her erogenous zones, Lucian's Corinthian friend gets very excited and promptly kisses the statue on the lips. The three companions make their way around the rotonda for a back view of Aphrodite and then Lucian's Athenian friend, who prefers boys, gets excited.
As Lucian comments, he appreciates those parts 'which reminded him of boys': her "rounded thighs". The statue, nevertheless, brings all three men to tears of joy. After noticing a blot on the back of one of Aphrodite's thighs and not knowing what is meant by it, they ask the attendant priestess. She tells the visitors about a young boy who fell hopelessly in love with the statue who one night had locked himself in the temple. The blot on the Aphrodite was the boy's attempt to consummate his passion.
Upon being discovered, he was so ashamed that he hurled himself over a cliff near the edge of the temple. Before this time it was not common for female statues to be depicted nude, simply because nudity was a heroic uniform assigned only to men. Heroic nudity served for the male viewer and its purpose was to bring visual pleasure to the viewer, who was inextricably male.
The Aphrodite of Knidos and Her Successors : A Historical Review of the Female Nude in Greek Art
When making the Aphrodite of Knidos, Spivey argues that her iconography can be attributed to Praxiteles creating the statue for the intent of being viewed by male onlookers. The Knidian Aphrodite has not survived. Possibly the statue was removed to Constantinople modern Istanbul , where it was housed in the Palace of Lausus; in , the palace burned and the statue was lost. It was one of the most widely copied statues in the ancient world, so a general idea of the appearance of the statue can be gleaned from the descriptions and replicas that have survived to the modern day.
For a time in , the archaeologist Iris Love thought she had found the only surviving fragments of the original statue, which are now in storage at the British Museum. The prevailing opinion of archaeologists is that the fragment in question is not of the Knidia , but of a different statue.
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As well as more or less faithful copies, the Aphrodite of Knidos also influenced various variations, which include:. The Venus de' Medici , of the variant Venus Pudica type where both hands cover the body.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Aphrodite of Knidos Venus Pudica The Ludovisi Cnidian Aphrodite, Roman marble copy torso and thighs with restored head, arms, legs and drapery support.
The Colonna Venus. John M. Plato: Complete Works. Indianapolis: Hackett, History Extra. Retrieved Revealing Aphrodite. Theodor Kraus.
Die Aphrodite von Knidos. Leonard Closuit. Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny.