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157

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ANTIQUE STATUES. 157
severe Olympian models, that one has recently been able
to say :
" the artist has fallen into the realistic—he has
held too faithfully to the living model." And as one
perceives in everything, that this artist knew what he did,
and could do what he wished, the conclusion was in this
case near at hand, that when he departed from the
strongly-marked ideal which belongs to the high gods,
and so nearly approached the natural and human, he did
so that his work might represent, not a womanly divinity,
but a divine woman.
But the French art writers took the matter more
lightly. Although the statue lacks every supplemental
token or so-called attribute, already Dumont d’Urville
had guessed at a victorious Aphrodite. The first pro-
fessional critic who expressed himself about the work,
Mr. Quatremere de Quincy, then secretary of the acad-
emy of arts, and contributor to the Journal dcs SavaJiSy
laid stress upon the likeness to be found between the
Melian head and the Cnidan head of Venus in the Vatican.
a likeness which the difference of style does not obscure.
His view that the work found is a Venus, was support-
ed by the warden of the Louvre galleries. Count de
Clarac. And so the name of the statue became " la Ve-
nus de Mihy Any objection to the judgment of these
authorities was so much the less to be expected, that the
statue is really so fair, the goddess of beauty could not
be more beautifully represented. The poets, too, had
already sung, that this was that Venus who was born of
the ocean waves, and that she was not rocked along to
the strand of Paphos but of Melos, and that their hearts
pine for " the soft embrace " fate has denied her from
giving those she loves. This was a judgment of Paris in
inverted form. The Trojan herdsman judged that Aph-

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