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167

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ANTIQUE STATUES. 167
are the goddess’s eyes directed to another point than
that where her heart and her hands are ? She should in
such a case turn her face more in profile. And how then,
explain the strong inclination, showing effort, of the
upper part of the body ? Only thus : that by calling up
her whole corporeal strength, she would draw the strug-
gling and clumsy lout of a lover to her! And while she
is doing this, her eyes would nevertheless be busy with
another object : with an Adonis, may be, for whom she
one fine day forgot her war-god, or an Anchises, who
soon consoled her for the loss of the fair huntsman !
Melos’ Aphrodite is, then, to speak with Faust, nothing
but
Ez’n Madchen, das aji meiner Britst
Mit Aeiigeln schon dem Nachbar sich verbindet.
Strangely enough, Quatremere’s conjecture has found
a friend in J. Overbeck, who in the last edition of his
" Geschichteder griechischen Plastik," still takes it under
his protection. But it should be added that he is a luke-
warm and doubting friend, who only in the absence of a
more pleasing hypothesis, inclines to the side of Quatre-
mere. Overbeck naturally allows, what no one can
deny, that " while the expression in the face of the Med-
ician Venus is entirely merged in the longing and ten-
derness of love, the features of the Melian statue disclose
hardly a trace of emotion or passion ;
’’
and that " these
features are in all their beauty so perfectly serene, one
might rather call their expression haughty and cold."
How will he make this rhyme, then, with Quatremere’s
view that the artist has placed her in a love relation with
Ares ? Why, thus : he draws a stroke of the pen through
the real Ares-Aphrodite myth, and lays before us a new
one of his own fashioning, a very agreeable myth, that

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