Vintage Goddess Aphrodite as Venus de Milo Woman Female Greek Roman Goddess Figurine Statue ~ Altar Piece
This is a ceramic porcelain glazed figurine representing Goddess Aphrodite. It stands about 13 inches tall and 3 inches wide
Venus de Milo
One of the most famous examples of ancient Greek sculpture, the Venus de Milo is immediately recognizable by its missing arms and is popularly believed to represent Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, who was known to the Romans as Venus
Aphrodite is the Olympian goddess of love, beauty, sexual pleasure, and fertility. She is regularly attended by a few of her children, the Erotes, who are capable of stirring up passion in both mortals and gods at the goddess’ will. Portrayed as both insatiable and unattainable, Aphrodite was born near the coast of Cythera out of the foam (aphros) Uranus' castrated genitals created when they fell into the sea. Even though married to Hephaestus, she had affairs with all Olympians except Zeus and Hades, most famously with Ares, the god of war. She also had famous romances with two mortals, Anchises and Adonis.
Aphrodite’s name is usually linked to the Ancient Greek word for “sea-foam,” aphros, which fits nicely with the story of her birth. However, modern scholars think that both Aphrodite and her name predate Ancient Greece and that the story actually came because of the goddess’ name.
Aphrodite's Portrayal and Symbolism
If Apollo represented the ideal of the perfect male body to the Greeks, Aphrodite was certainly his most appropriate female counterpart. Beautiful and enchanting, she was frequently depicted nude, as a symmetrically perfect maiden, infinitely desirable and as infinitely out of reach. She was sometimes represented alongside Eros and with some of her major attributes and symbols: a magical girdle and a shell, a dove or a sparrow, roses, and myrtles.
Aphrodite and Phryne
Once, during an important religious festival, the hetaera Phryne decided to swim naked in the sea. The famous painter Apelles was so overwhelmed by the exquisite sight that he drew the most famous (now lost) painting of the Ancient World: “Aphrodite Rising from the Sea.” Many artists have tried recreating it during the centuries past. The sculptor Praxiteles had a bit more luck than Apelles: he also modeled his most celebrated sculpture of Aphrodite after Phryne, but a copy of that sculpture has survived to this day. It is one of the first life-sized female nudes in history. Plato says that when Aphrodite saw the sculpture, "Alas!" said she, "where did Praxiteles see me naked?"
Worshipped by basically everybody, Aphrodite, “the One who rises from the sea” was appropriately called Pandemos, “of all the people.” However, she was also called Ourania or “heavenly,” so some Greek moralists tried to make a distinction between these two Aphrodites, claiming that Aphrodite Pandemos is the goddess of sexual desire and Aphrodite Ourania, the one of “platonic love.” Now we know that this was the same goddess, called by numerous other contradictory epithets as well, which often describe the complex nature of love: “smile-loving,” “merciful,” and the “One who postpones old age,” but also “unholy,” “the dark one,” “the killer of men.”