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186

(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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I S6 ROMAN DA YS.
every mark of a shield or a hand is lacking, and the po-
sition of the drapery. The shield, in this attitude, hides
nothing of the beautiful form, from the point of view the
spectator ought to take. The weapon is no longer, as in
Millingen’s hypothesis, an empty attribute, clutched at
only to give the goddess something to hold. Its inscrip-
tion reproduces in words, or if one rather choose, in a
lightly-traced picture drawn by the goddess’s pencil, the
grave and lofty language, every line of the statue speaks.
This explanation which makes allusion to the annals
of Melos, and finds support in them, and at the same time
links itself to another work of art as a development of
its idea, transfers the production of the statue to a much
later time than that of Praxiteles. If Alexander, son of
Menides, from Antioch on the Meander, be the creator
of the statue, and not he who altered it, it is also in the
nature of things that the work cannot be older than the
city named, founded by Antiochus I. The motive of the
drapery, as well, speaks, as Overbeck has shown, for a
later time.
The half-effaced inscription, Dumont d’Urville found
over the entrance to the niche, contains nothing that can
serve to account for the previous lot of the work. The
inscription seems to declare that the niche was conse-
crated to Hermes and Hercules. With this the idea is in
harmony, that the Hermes’ found on the spot represent,
one a Mercury, the other a boy Hercules.
With regard to the alteration the statue has under-
gone during the time of the Romans, I must be allowed
to express a conjecture. The manner in which the hand
discovered encloses, and as it were, hides the apple, proves
that there can be no question here of the judgment of
Paris. When art is in its decadence, it loves jesting allu-

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