History24 Jan 2010 10:45 pm
The Venus de Milo, one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture, is believed to depict the goddess Aphrodite. Aphrodite was the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty (the Romans called her Venus). The name Aphrodite comes from the Greek word aphros, which means “foam,” legend had it that she was born out of the white foam produced by the severed genitals of Uranus after his son Cronos threw them into the ocean. She was primarily worshipped as the goddess of love, fertility and marriage.
Part of the enduring popularity of the Venus de Milo is the mystery that surrounds her missing arms. Art historians have unearthed enough evidence to support the theory that the Venus’s right arm was lowered across her torso with the right hand resting on her left knee so that the sliding drapery could be held in place. Her left arm was held at just below the eye level of the statue above a herm while holding an apple. The right side of the statue is more carefully worked and finished than the left side or back, indicating that the statue was intended to be seen mainly as a 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.
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