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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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This motive was in the antique time held in esteem,
and often repeated. Still, on the triumphal arch of Con-
stantine in Rome—that arch of triumph over the over-
throw of art, the decay of the world’s metropolis and the
destruction of heathendom—among the reliefs is to be
seen a Victory in precisely the same action ; coarsely
executed, yet giving evidence of a noble model.
Aphrodite and Victoria are nearly related : in Venus
Victrix, the victorious goddess of love, they mingle
in one.
Remove, now, the wings and the airy tunic from
Brescia’s Victory, and let us conceive her as a victorious
Aphrodite, in the next moment of her action. She has
completed the inscription : the deed which is to be im-
mortalized, is cut upon the shield. What attitude does
she now take?
The bended left knee continues bent, for the left foot,
resting on a prop, gives just the support that the contin-
uance needs.
The shield is lifted by both arms from its resting-place
on the knee, and turned, so that the inscription meets
the beholder’s eye.
While the arms with their burden are extended to the
left, the upper part of the supple body leans to the right
as counterbalance.
The head is raised, and the goddess’s look directed
more to the front.
With this movement, the drapery glides down upon
the right hip.
This is exactly the attitude of the Melian Aphrodite,
and all that has hitherto been less satisfactorily explained
seems to me in this way accounted for : the carriage of
the head, the direction of the look, the bent knee, where

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