Venus De Milo by Jill Allison (reprinted with her permission)
Venus De Milo is also referred to as Aphrodite of Milos and is a marble sculpture believed to be designed and created by Alexandros of Antioch. The sculpture is believed to be based on his idea of what the Greek goddess Aphrodite would resemble. She is shown with a beautiful shaped face, wavy hair pulled back with draped material beginning at the waist. During the era she was made natural beauty often was shown as nude. Her breasts are uncovered with her arms missing due to ravages of time. It is possible that one hand would have lain at her waist and an apple in her other hand. It is a Greek sculpture from the Hellenistic period and is housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. This exceptional example of Hellenistic art can be viewed online, as I did, courtesy of the Louvre website http://www.louvre.fr. (“Aphrodite or Venus de Milo”)
The statue was discovered buried in the ruins of the city of Milos on what was once Greece. Arms in the area were found but were very rough in construction as was typical of the style. Many sculptures above eye level were unfinished. The sculpture stands over 6 feet 8 inches tall and is an example of the neo-classical style of the time. She was made sometime between 130 and 100 B.C.E. Her height may be proportionate to the allusion of a Goddess versus human form.
Venus was made of Parian marble, which was of exceptional quality and often used for temples and other high-ranking buildings. She has several holes that would allow for adornments of jewelry. Her form is a realistic view of a woman and her display of seduction is proof she is the most desired of all man. The statue was not designed to be viewed from all angles, in fact her back part is rather crude in places. She is designed in the shapely S or curved manor-showing eroticism. Amazingly, she was created in what many consider the decline of Greek Art.
When I first viewed the sculpture I saw a woman confident in herself, her body and her desire. She is designed to make you stop and study her. At second glance you see that she is shaped in a way to attract you to the details that make her so breathtaking. The curve of her hair, the drape of the cloth, the second toe larger than the first, all make her real. If a statue comes to life this would be a prime example of how the details make the statue. After looking at the statue in close detail I decided to look further into the time period and the art associated with it. While other statues may have similar form and beauty, Venus De Milo is the original.