Aphrodite and the Gods of Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

The first is the famous "Bartlett Head," named for Francis Bartlett, who provided the funds for its acquisition by the MFA in 1900. Celebrated in rapturous prose by Henry James within a few years of its first appearance in Boston, it was carved from luminous marble shortly after Praxiteles's Knidos Aphrodite, and remains to this day one of the most admired examples of classical Greek sculpture. The life-size head fuses human beauty with a divine ideal in the 23 century A.D. that is as perfect and enigmatic as Venus de Milo (Bergeron 2). This goddess turns her head down to her lower right, as is indicated by the curve of the neck. This tilt, as well as the softness of the carving on the skin and the heavy lids, impart a certain gentle nature to the goddess, so that connoisseurs have been inclined to interpret her as Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Her long, wavy hair is bound in a thin taenia (ribbon) that is wrapped twice around her head, and pulled back into a bun at the nape of the neck. Some locks are pulled up in loops at the top of her head, an effect that appears as a topknot, and has been referred to as lampadion ("little-torch") (see Boston 03.743 (Sculpture). The goddess's shadowed eyes, set deep in her softly modeled face, seem to carve out a sense of interiority, much as Degas's late bathers bend over an inviolate space defined by the contortions of their self-tending bodies (Smee 4f.).

A fresco from a villa in Pompeii, "Three Graces" (Roman, 1st Century AD, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples), shows the lovely attendants who assisted Aphrodite with her beauty regimen. The fresco depicts the daughters of Zeus, who doubled as Aphrodite's handmaidens. The three slender, nude bodies are set against a background of lush vegetation, and their arms are sensually interlocked (Owen 2). Mirrors, perfume, jewelry, and cosmetics feature images of the goddess and reflect her influence in this area. Among the objects on view revealing Aphrodite's role as adulterous seductress and instigator of sexual desire are the gilt-bronze Mirror with women bathing before a statue of Aphrodite on a pillar (Roman, AD 110 -- 117, MFA) and Mosaic panel (emblem) with cupid gathering roses in a garden (Roman, 2nd -- 3rd century AD, MFA), which attests to the erotic power and economic significance of the perfume industry in antiquity ("Aphrodite and the Gods of Love" 3).

Another highlight in the exhibition is "Sleeping Hermaphrodite," from the Roman Imperial period (1st century AD). Hermaphrodite was the child of Hermes and Aphrodite, and was born with a body of both male and female characteristics. The sculpture's back resembles the feminine and slender backs of the exhibit's other pieces, but the other side of the sleeping figure reveals Hermaphrodite's breasts and male genitalia. "Sleeping Hermaphrodite" bespeaks the period's acceptance, or at least acknowledgement, of androgyny and is one of the most captivating pieces in the exhibit (Owen 2).

"Aphrodite and the Gods of Love" is organized under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. Conservation support for objects in the exhibition was provided by the Leon Levy Foundation. Additional support was provided by The Hellenic Women's Club

(Aphrodite and the Gods of Love 1). I consider "Aphrodite and the Gods of Love" an absolute must-see for anyone interested in the powerful goddess that ancient writers and artists described as complex and even dangerous.

Works Cited List

"Aphrodite and the Gods of Love' Exhibit at MFA." Bostoniano.info. 27 October 2011. 2011. 1-4. Accessed 22 November 2011.


Aphrodite and the Gods of Love. 2011. Accessed 22 November 2011.

< www.mfa.org/programs/other/aphrodite-and-gods-love>Cached

Bergeron, Chris. EXHIBIT REVIEW: "Aphrodite and the Gods of Love' reign at Museum of Fine Arts." Gate House News Service. 19 November 2011. 1-3.

Accessed 22 November 2011.

Boston 03.743 (Sculpture). Accessed 22v November 2011.

Cached - Similar

You +1'd this publicly. Undo Exhibition Sponsorship. Museum of Fine Arts Boston. 2011. 1-3.

Accessed 22 November 2011.


Owen, William. "MFA explores Aphrodite's many guises." 14 November 2011. Accessed 21 November 2011.

< www.tuftsdaily.com/mfa-explores-aphrodite-s-many-guises-1.2671091>Cached

Smee, Sebastian. "More to Aphrodite…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Aphrodite And The Gods Of" (2011, November 22) Retrieved December 2, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/aphrodite-and-the-gods-of-47776

"Aphrodite And The Gods Of" 22 November 2011. Web.2 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/aphrodite-and-the-gods-of-47776>

"Aphrodite And The Gods Of", 22 November 2011, Accessed.2 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/aphrodite-and-the-gods-of-47776

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Aphrodite in Odyssey vs Venus in Lusiads

    Aphrodite and Venus Aphrodite vs. Venus In many ways the two goddesses were the same person because they were both said to be beautiful and carried the mantle as goddesses of love and fertility. However, the tradition is much different since both were borrowed from other traditions (Venus came, in part, from the Aphrodite tradition), so were not unique to the pantheons they occupied. The goddesses were both also associated with multiple

  • History of God by Karen Armstrong

    God: Review of Karen Armstrong's "History of God" The History of God" by Karen Armstrong reads more like a quest for God amongst the annals of Man's history. It relates the transition of the nature of God as perceived by His human subjects, catering to the ideological differences amongst followers of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. By highlighting the influences that led Armstrong to embark on this quest for illumination as well

  • Greek Goddess Aphrodite the Mythology of Her

    Greek Goddess Aphrodite, the mythology of her birth and how she has interfered in the lives of man and woman throughout key mythological events such as the Trojan war and the journey of Odysseus as he traveled home to Ithaca from the battlefields of Troy. Using mythological and historical texts such as Hesoid's Theogony, and Homer's the Illiad and The Oddessey a brief understanding has been gleaned regarding the

  • Statue the Marble Statue of Aphrodite Goddess

    Statue The marble statue of Aphrodite, goddess of love, is an impressive example of Roman sculpture from the Imperial era. Although it is Roman, the Greek name of the goddess has been preserved because the artist was directly influenced by the Greek sculptural tradition. However, it is definitively Roman in its appearance based on stylistic similarities with other sculptures contemporary with it. For example, the ornate hair and headdress signify Roman

  • Throned in Splendor Deathless O

    The poems Catullus wrote to the woman Lesbia are among his best known. How would you characterize their affair? Catallus describes a conflicted and stormy affair with the women of Lesbia. Sexual tension is evident in his poems, which have a strong erotic content. Therefore, his affairs were passionate and physical. If the gender roles were reversed and the woman were the narrator, do you think this series of poems would read

  • Greek Mythology on Roman Mythology

    18). In fact, while it incorporated Greek mythology, ancient Rome had a very permissive attitude towards other forms of religion. Even when the state attempted to restrict various religious practices, the atmosphere still provided a very fertile ground for early cult worship. "The beliefs espoused by many of these cults- moral conduct on earth and eternal life after death- made the inroads of the cult of Christianity possible" (What life was

  • Mythology Overall I Do Not

    With respect to the mythology of the male gods, Zeus, Apollo, and Hephaestus seem to be a combination that matches the dynamism of their female goddess counterparts. These gods represent the good and the bad of males; they also represent the spectrum of power and balance of male energy. There is no one god or goddess myth that I feel fully represents the tension between male and female gods because

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved