|San José State University|
& Tornado Alley
The Visual Depictions of Aphrodite/Venus |
from Ancient Times Through the Renaissance
The cultures of ancient times conjured up a god or goddess to precide over each important element of life. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of Love and Beauty. The Roman goddess Venus was close enough to be considered the same as Aphrodite, just with another name.
The Greeks and Romans were adept at creating realistic depictions of humans in sculture than in two dimensional art. Here are some the scultures of Aphrodite/Venus from ancient times.
It is remarkable how similar the different sculptors depictions of Aphrodite are. The images are of a nice looking woman but not one that is stunningly beautiful. Another notable feature of the images of Aphrodite are the modest size of her breasts. There is no excessive voluptuousness.
In the Renaissance the images of Aphrodite/Venus are in paintings. The most famous is that done by Botticelli of Venus emerging from the sea on a half shell.
Compared to the Greek and Roman depictions Botticelli's Venus is younger, plainer and less passionate appearing.
The amazing thing is that, based upon the depictions of Aphrodite/Venus, there are many women who who are more beautiful than the Goddess of Love and Beauty. For example, the following is a painting based upon a picture of a young woman which is available on the Internet.
This young woman undoubtably knows that she is beautiful but I wonder if she realizes that she is much more beautiful than the Goddess of Love and Beauty. Although the above is an example of stunning beauty there are thousands more of near equal beauty.
The ancient Greeks and Romans apparently considered the Goddess of Love and Beauty to have administrative responsibility in the world and therefore depicted her usually as a middle-aged woman. Thus she could not have the fresh bloom of beauty of a young woman.
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