Forschungsarbeit: Kauernde Aphrodite

Kauernde Aphrodite

Die Bedeutung des Bildmotivs in der antiken und postantiken Kunst

Studien zur Geschichtsforschung des Altertums, volume 31

Hamburg , 172 pages

ISBN 978-3-8300-8764-9 (print)
ISBN 978-3-339-08764-5 (eBook)

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The goddess Aphrodite represented a popular motif in antique sculpture. Since Praxiteles with his famous Knidia Greek sculptors increasingly began to draw the goddess of love in naked or half-naked pose. In the Hellenistic art epoch this sujet experienced a further development in multiple aspects. On the one hand, the artists started to understand Aphrodite as a multi-perspective figure spreading to the adjacent space and standing in a specific relationship to her viewer. On the other hand, the sculptors presented the goddess not exclusively in standing pose with classical contrapost, but also in different other situations such as wringing her hair, binding her sandal or crouching for the bath. The motif of the crouching Aphrodite was originally associated with the Bithynian artist Doidalses, whose main period of activity was probably in the 3rd century BC.

Among Roman copyists the crouching Aphrodite experienced a real bloom; numerous aristocratic families gave order for the production of a respective sculpture and placed it into their houses or gardens after its completion. After the motif of the crouching goddess of love had had no importance at all in the middle ages, but the specific habit had found many imitations in painting at the same time, it experienced a remarkable resurrection from the Renaissance to the following centuries. Whilst in the 17th and 18th centuries figures of the crouching Aphrodite exclusively decorated the gardens and palaces of the aristocracy, they successively entered the civic sphere in the 19th century, where they were characterized by numerous modifications and developed to popular visual objects.

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