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175

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ANTIQUE STATUES. 175
tions, among the ornaments, an Aphrodite mirroring her-
self in the shield of Ares, which she holds in her hands.
On a Corinthian coin from the time of the Romans, we
find a Venus in the same attitude and occupation, and
it is thought that the die of this coin reproduces a statue
that Pausanias saw on Acrocorinth. The gallery of
Naples possesses a Venus, found about a hundred years
ago in the amphitheatre of Capua. Her attitude recalls
that of the Melian statue, and has an almost perfect like-
ness to that of the figure on the Corinthian coin ; where-
fore, and at the instance of professor Friederichs, the cast
of the Capuan Venus in the Berlin museum has been
given the shield of Ares to hold as a mirror in her
hands.
But has the Aphrodite of Melos really mirrored her-
self in the war-god’s shield? Is this trifling and pretty
motive in harmony with the lofty and severe seriousness
that marks her? Assuredly not. Besides, the position
of the head and the direction of the look make reflection
an impossibility. The Capuan Venus looks more to the
side and downwards; the Melian, more straight forward,
and on a level. J\Iay she have borne a shield, it was not
to look at her features in it. Nor has Millingen himself
pronounced for the motive of reflection. For him, it is
enough that the goddess holds the shield of Ares, as a
sign of victory ; and therein may lie a thought worthy
the noble masterpiece : love’s victory over discord, order’s
over violence.
But an objection that weighs heavily, can yet be made.
Friederichs rightly remarks :
" The mirroring in the
shield, even if a trifling motive, is yet a conceivable one ;
but that the goddess with effort holds the shield to one
side, without using it for any practical purpose, has nc

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