Artwork of the month

February 2017 Archaeology

Sultry Aphrodite

Rare case of an ancient signed statuette, this young woman standing on her small base is Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and love. The earrings, the naked breast, the form-fitting dress, « wet » folds showing a delicately rounded belly, the coat knotted over the pubis, the naked feet in open sandals, enable this terracotta statue to become a little wonder of grace, and highlight the erotic nature of the goddess. Up to the gesture that Aphrodite performs with her two hands …

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Sultry Aphrodite
Mid Ist century CE
Moulded terracotta, with traces of slip and pigments
Hength : 36 cm

Geographical provenance
Myrina (Asia Minor/Turkey)

The statuette appears at an Athenian antiquarian, in 1884 ; thence, in the Eugène Mutiaux collection, since the end of the 19th century ; thence, with the Colonel Wild, in the setting of Eugène Mutiaux’s succession ; sold to a french collector (M. W.) at the sale Succession du colonel W[ild], ancienne collection Mutiaux, 6ème vente. Hôtel Drouot, 9 mai 1952, nr 64 ; in this collection between 1950 and 1970 ; then part of the Françoise and Claude Bourelier’s collection (Paris). ArtCurial, vente du 12 mai 2015, nr 92, then at David Ghezelbash Archéologie (Paris).

© Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, Genève Photographer : André Longchamp
© Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, Genève Photographer : André Longchamp

See also