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180

(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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l80 ROMAN DA YS.
its destiny. I read in the lines of the marble a Grecian
thought, that borrowed its dress from the language I
heard around me, clothing itself in the words of Mme. de
Stael :
" Les individiis doivent se rdsigner h la destinee,
mats jamais les nations^ This principle pervades, in
time of good and time of evil, the history of the Doric
island state, and in this statue has obtained life, under
the hand of a truly inspired master. The spirit of stern
morality and heroic nerve in the people of Melos, is
stamped on the noble and lofty face of this Aphrodite

its tragic fate, in the melancholy that shines through it,
and is as strangely united with the health of the soul,
sound to the core, as the goddess’s beauty melts into the
gentle Doric woman’s unsought charm. Herein, I think,
lies the explanation of the realism, the approach to " a liv-
ing model," which is discovered in the statue, at the same
time that no other statue of Aphrodite than this, leads
the mind to the pure, the heavenly goddess of love.
Thus to unite two natures in one personality, the idea
of fatherland and race in the Doric woman, of the di-
vine in Aphrodite, is the most exalted triumph the
master of this work could win. And like Venus from the
ocean’s foam, as from the waves of the archipelago the
Cycladean isle with its luxuriant vegetation, at once stern
and friendly, rises the naked beauty of this Melos-Aph-
rodite from out her sumptuous drapery.
The heavenly Aphrodite is the expression of that
power which attunes the first-created elements of the
universe to harmony, and unites men to home and state.
She is beauty in nature, love in the home : in the state
she is law, that impels a million of selfish wills to work
for one common weal.

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