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Venus de Milo

Mar - 4 - 2013

Venus de MiloThe Aphrodite of Milos was discovered on 8 April 1820 by a peasant named Yorgos Kentrotas, inside a buried niche within the ancient city ruins of Milos, the current village of Tripiti, on the island of Milos (also Melos, or Milo) in the Aegean, which was then a part of the Ottoman Empire. Olivier Voutier, an ensign in the French navy, whose warship had been idling in port, was searching for Greek antiquities when a local farmer, while removing stones from an ancient wall nearby, uncovered the statue. It was found in several pieces—a nude upper torso, a draped lower body, and part of the right hip that, when put in place, allowed both parts to fit together without toppling over. The arms were missing but Voutier was convinced that the sculpture was a masterpiece and hurriedly returned with the local vice-consul to persuade him to buy it. Meanwhile, the farmer had continued to dig and found a hand holding an apple, two herms standing on inscribed bases, and a fragment of an upper arm.
Aphrodite of Milos , better known as the Venus de Milo, is an ancient Greek statue and one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture. Created sometime between 130 and 100 BC, it is believed to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty (Venus to the Romans). It is a marble sculpture, slightly larger than life size at 203 cm (6 ft 8 in) high. The arms and original plinth were lost following the discovery. From an inscription that was on its plinth, it is thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch; earlier, it was mistakenly attributed to the master sculptor Praxiteles. It is currently on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
An inscription that is not displayed with the statue states that “Alexandros, son of Menides, citizen of Antioch of Maeander made the statue.” The general composition derives from a 4th-century-bc Corinthian statue. The action and modernized drapery give the Venus great nobility. The statue is a conspicuous example of the Hellenistic sculptural tradition’s academic traits and close reliance on older masterpieces.
Although the Aphrodite of Milos is widely renowned for the mystery of her missing arms enough evidence remains to prove that the right arm of the statue was lowered across the torso with the right hand resting on her raised left knee so it would seem to hold the sliding drapery wrapped around the hips and legs in place. There is a filled hole below her right breast that originally contained a metal tenon that would have supported the separately carved right arm.venus The left arm was held out below the eye level of the statue, above a herm and held an apple. The right side of the statue is worked more carefully and finished in greater detail than the left side or back, indicating that the statue was intended to be viewed in profile from its right. The left hand would have held the apple up into the air further back inside the niche the statue was set in. When the left hand was still attached, it would have been clear to an observer that the goddess was looking at the apple she held up in her left hand.
The statue would have been painted, as was the Greek custom for statuary,[2] adorned with jewellery, and positioned in a niche inside a gymnasium. The painting of the statue along with the bedecking in jewellery were intended to make it appear more lifelike. Today, all traces of any paint have disappeared and the only signs of the armbands, necklace, earrings and crown are attachment holes.
In the autumn of 1939, the Venus was packed for removal from the Louvre in anticipation of the outbreak of war. Scenery trucks from the Comédie-Française transported the masterpieces of the Louvre to safer locations in the countryside. During the years of World War II, the statue was sheltered safely in the Château de Valençay along with the Winged Victory of Samothrace and Michelangelo’s Slaves.
Sculpture in the Louvre museum.

Resources on the Internet:
Extensive article
The article in the English Wikipedia
Visiting the Venus De Milo at the Lourve

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