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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ANTIQUE STATUES. 1
63
Ihorities that the Louvre should own a work of Praxi-
teles?
The question of the original author of the work is
nevertheless not decided, whatever may be the case with
the authenticity of the inscription communicated by
Debay. Of this, more by-and-by.
In what action must one imagine the Melian Aphro-
dite engaged ? A nice question, since, as we know, the
arms and every attribute are wanting ; a riddle hard to
solve, and yet not to be dismissed. For in this work of
art, the singular circumstance prevails, that the absence
of such essential parts as the arms, does not seem in the
slightest degree to lessen its beauty ; but at the same
time, the animated rhythm in the bearing of the statue
forces the beholder to imagine for himself two arms in
movement harmonious with the direction of the face, the
look, the shoulders, and the inclination of the upper part
of the supple body. One thinks with dread of the
possible completion of the statue by any of the artists of
our time, were he even Thorvaldsen’s equal in his power
to heal such injuries, and did he even succeed in giving
the added parts the most probable and charming posi-
tion ; and nevertheless, this lack of arms is as if a solemn
and sweet melody were broken off, before it had reached
its natural conclusion : the listener would continue the
succession of tones.
Aphrodite is an art idea that embraces much, almost
as much as the idea, love. In countless variations, this
idea spreads itself out over the immeasurable space that
divides the heavenly Aphrodite from the Venus Vulgi-
vaga. Now it may certainly seem to us dwellers in the
North, when we look at the Melian masterpiece, as if its

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