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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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to the right, of the upper part of the body, to which we
must again refer, since no proposed hypothesis that does
not satisfactorily explain that, can stand ? In the world
of poetry, this apple had certainly a considerable weight
for Venus rewarded it with the promise that Paris should
possess the world’s most beautiful woman ; and the con-
sequence was the flight of Helen, the Trojan war, Ho-
mer’s songs, and the founding of Rome. But poetry is
one thing, and statics are another ; and from a statical
point of view, this apple weighs no more than a common
summer fruit. But Clarac’s conjecture sins most against
the rhythm of the statue, which demands a harmonious
motion of both arms, and rejects every hypothesis that
the right hand held " une bandelette," or some other
trifle, in order not to be empty. The sculptor of the
statue would in that case have solved his problem much
as the designers of fashion-plates do, when they give the
ideal gentlemen of the tailor’s art a cane, or a riding-whip,
or a glove, to hold. We must agree with the words of
Welcker and Overbeck, that this would be a very unsuit-
able and clumsy composition.
But it is nevertheless more than probable, nay, it is
certain, that the Aphrodite of Melos has once been as
Clarac first imagined her. She has really at one time
stood with the apple in her left hand, and that on account
of a bungling alteration that has been undertaken in her,
at the epoch of the decline of art, in the beginning of the
Roman empire. This view stands in the closest relation
to the question—in what condition was the Melian statue
discovered? Did she lack arms at the moment when
the first ray of light over Jorgos’s spade fell into the
niche where she had so many hundred years been hid-
den ?

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