Aphrodite emerging from what appears to be a large marine shell with undulating and ribbed sides (or possibly a basin/boat?). The figure, bending slightly to the right, steps out of a ribbed object, most likely a shell. Her left leg is "immersed" to the knee. Billowing draperies behind left...
Aphrodite emerging from what appears to be a large marine shell with undulating and ribbed sides (or possibly a basin/boat?). The figure, bending slightly to the right, steps out of a ribbed object, most likely a shell. Her left leg is "immersed" to the knee. Billowing draperies behind left shoulder and over right hip and advancing right leg. This might allude to Aphrodite's emergence from the sea at her birth. The sculpture most likely functioned as a garden fountain. Fragments of very similar figures have been found on Rhodes, Stratonikeia, and Ephesus. This figure was probably made by a Rhodian sculptor. The head is broken away roughly across the neck. The arms were made separately and attached with iron dowels (partly remaining in right shoulder). The cloak, otherwise complete, is broken off at the top, behind the raised left arm. The back of the object from which the figure steps is roughly finished. There is an uncertain rectangular block and another fragmentary piece rising from near the right front corner of a curving basin or boat. The surfaces are well preserved and appear to have been cleaned of some encrustation, perhaps in the nineteenth century. Marble, possibly from the Greek island of Paros Scientific Analysis: Harvard Lab No. HI221: Isotope ratios - delta13C +3.31 / delta18O -2.81, Attribution - Probably Paros 1, Justification - gray shadow, Medium-grained marble, Petrographic Analysis - maximum grain size (1.1mm), accessory minerals (muscovite).
By date unknown: with Acanthus Gallery, 138 East 74th Street, New York 10021 (according to Acanthus Gallery: from a collection in the British Isles); purchased by MFA from Acanthus Gallery, February 26, 1986
Frank B. Bemis Fund
Greek or Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Hellenistic or Imperial Period, 1st century B.C. or 1st century A.D.
Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), no. 012.
Overall: 43 x 29cm (16 15/16 x 11 7/16in.) Other (Height x width): 15.9 cm (6 1/4 in.) Mount (dims of wooden base): 18 x 11 cm (7 1/16 x 4 5/16 in.) Mount (Dimensions of new wooden base): 20.3 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm (8 x 5 x 8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble probably from the Greek island of Paros