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176

(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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176 ROMAN DAYS.
real pith." Overbeck makes the same observation, and
indicates besides, that on the drapery over the statue’s
left knee, no trace can be discovered of the hand that
must have rested there, to hold the lower edge of the
shield.
I have now given an account of the chief hypotheses
concerning the original action of the Melian Aphrodite ;
and the result is, as the reader finds, that they all seem
more or less unsatisfactory. The riddle has for more
than half a century defied penetration, and does so still.
Is an accurate solution, then, possible ? Yes ; at least,
so far as it lies within the realm of possibility for one man
to re-create what another man has felt and thought. If
that happen in this case, there is however, no touchstone
to prove that it has happened. But such an explanation
as continues the interrupted melody in its own spirit, and
which by what it adds, does not contradict but confirms
what is there, has at least so far accomplished the purpose,
that the beholder can give himself fully up to the aesthetic
impression of the statue, without disturbing his thoughts
with the enigma it presents. The question as it lies be-
fore us, necessarily borders upon the realm of the sub-
jective. Without pretending to have solved objectively
a problem, which among professional art critics lacks its
CEdipus, even the layman may express his opinion here,
and say how he himself proceeded, in order to view the
statue as a whole. When art critics on good grounds
destroy each other’s hypotheses, one is left to his own
resources, and must try them, however insufficient they
are.
I believe that the statue from the beginning belonged
to the ancient commonwealth in the territory of which it

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