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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Antique Statues - 1. The Aphrodite of Melos

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l68 ROMAN DA YS.
should have inspired even satiric Lucian with respect
According to Overbeck, namely, Hephaestus is a bache-
lor, who has no light-minded spouse to be anxious about,
and with the most perfect serenity of soul can forge
thunderbolts for Zeus ; and Aphrodite is Ares’ lawful,
wedded wife, with whom the war-god lives in the most
peaceful matrimonial relation. Overbeck imagines, now,
this pair of divinities whom he himself has united, " in
their holy matrimonial state, designed as a group for the
temple." By this he thinks he has found a fitting answer
to the objection that the goddess’s look seeks another
object than Ares ; for they are not lover and mistress,
you see, but man and wife, whom it does not befit openly
to let their tenderness run over, least of all before the
eyes of the devout. " They stand united, but not ab-
sorbed in each other," and " they are in this respect like
Gothe and Schiller in Rietschel’s group at Weimar" (!)
But how, then, does Overbeck explain the strong in-
clination of the upper part of the goddess’s body ? That,
he cannot explain at all. He can only point out that
" this inclination is less striking when one sees the statue
from the right." But how does that help ?
A while after Quatremere’s essay upon the Melian
Venus, Count de Clarac’s appeared. His view was, that
the goddess, proud of her victory, displays in her left
hand the apple of Paris, and in her right, holds a girdle,
a fillet, or some attribute. Here it should at once be
remarked, that Clarac himself did not hold to this opin-
ion, but afterwards adopted the hypothesis of Millingen,
of which I shall give an account farther on. And it was
indeed useless to fight long for such a lost cause. Would
the weight of an apple be enough to explain that leaning

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