Visual Analysis of the Marble Statue of Aphrodite Essay

Aphrodite statues were very popular in Greece during the Hellenistic period. The marble Aphrodite of Knidos was the most renowned among the many Greek goddesses. Also written as the Aphrodite of Cnidus, the marble sculpture was created by an Attic sculptor known as Praxiteles during the 4th century BC. Arguably, it is believed to be the earliest major sculpture to show the goddess in the nude.

Praxiteles also created another draped version of the marble Aphrodite of Knidos. It is said that the draped version was the first to be sold, while the nude version remained rejected at first.

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However, the naked version was bought by the people of Knidos later on. They erected it in an open-air shrine, where it gained fame in the Greek world. The original Aphrodite of Knidos is depicted diffidently shielding her breasts and genitals, all the while attracting attention to her nudeness. Praxiteles used this idea to solve the issue of showing a powerful goddess figure and a symbol of love and sexuality in the nude. In the current sculpture, the lower legs of the marble statue have been reinstated with casts from the Roman copy in Florence, referred to as the Medic Venus.

The goddess looks as if she is surprised and perplexed at her bath. The head, however, is looking to the left, which brings the feeling that the goddess has been disturbed. The original sculpture shows the goddess stretching her arms forward to safeguard her pubis and breasts. It is a gesture that conceals and highlights her sexuality. The surface of the statue seems untouched by cleaning or weathering. The left foot stands on a rectangular plinth, which took the whole body’s weight.

Nonetheless, some of the features missing in this version include the arms, upper part of the support, and the intervening extent of the legs. The chin, nose, and the lips appear to be damaged. The marble’s hair is tied into a knot at the back. The band used to tie the knot goes to the front in one stress. The foot is bare but with a separate sandal wearer’s great toe. There are no earrings since her ears are not pierced. The scene of nudity in the statue of Aphrodite looks intentional. This is concluded with the placid look on the marble’s face.

She looks calm in dealing with her nude pose. It is as if she is heading towards the bathroom before the nude moment was captured. The marble statue of Aphrodite is life sized, thin, and fits a young woman by the normal modern standards. The height with the plinth is approximately sixty two and a half inches (158. 8 cm). It appears other minute details of the marble statue of Aphrodite have been damaged or lost, for example, the heat and base of her feet. Nonetheless, one can certify it is the statue of Aphrodite because of some of the figures that have been placed at her side.

The characters beside the statue appear to represent icons commonly linked to Aphrodite. The dolphin symbolizes the birth of the goddess from the sea, and maybe that’s why people believed that she controlled animal fertility. Since the nose has broken off, it appears that the head is a mystery as to its finer and greater details. The marble used to create the sculpture brings out the fine quality of such material. It also adds elegance and sensuous grace to the whole sculpture. The use of marble links the sculpture to the radiance and softness of the female skin.

The hips of the statue slants somehow, which contrasts her shoulders. There is also the use of contrapposto, a technique used to create a feeling of equilibrium. In this sculpture, it appears to add sensuousness of the marble statue. The Aphrodite of Knidos, as a statue, represents a composition that is somewhat uniform. Her sensual figure and extra beauty perhaps represents the goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. The sculpture and its beauty as well as the perfect image demands worship and respect from her followers. The statue also has a feeling of calm and serenity.

Marble is a dense and crystalline stone that is made up of calcium carbonate. The whiteness of calcite marble gives the sculpture its somehow white color. The fine grains made it possible for the sculpture to be smooth and beautiful. The standing sculpture appears to be indolently relaxed, while the median line makes a clearer double curve. While standing upright, the figure’s feet are place in a certain way that brings a shifting effect or movement and not a stable poise. The head tilting to the side gives it a rare and unique pose.

The goddess stands upright but the thighs are put together while the slack left leg is slightly turned out. In conclusion, many art enthusiasts saw Praxiteles’ Aphrodite as a celebration of the feminine beauty in three dimensions. The sculpture inspired many other Roman sculptors; they saw the marble as the ideal of proportion, beauty, and grace. They made numerous other copies, which led to the conventionalization of the stance and gesture of the Aphrodite of Knidos. The sculpture has a grave and calm expression that avoids sentimental and sensual.

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