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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Aphrodite of Melos (Venus de Milo)

Semi-nude female figure. The pose is based on the much earlier Aphrodite of Capua. Clearly her left arm was raised and her right crossed her body, but more than that is unclear.

Like the Parthenon Marbles, it was not restored after discovery, but the two halves it consists of were badly joined, and re-set in 1870. Restoration of Classical sculpture had been the norm until the early years of the nineteenth century; not only was it going out of fashion when the Venus de Milo was found, but there was also disagreement over the exact position of her arms.

The sculpture soon gained great celebrity, and a cast of the Venus took pride of place in the Greek Court at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851

Number: 
393
Material: 
Marble
Location of Original: 

Paris, Louvre 399

Size: 
2.04m
Accession: 

Transferred from the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1884

References: 

Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 370 (n.5), pl. 130.3
Charbonneaux: Le Revue des Arts I (1951), 8-
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 95, no.521

Date: 
c.120-90 BCE
Provenance: 

Found on the island of Melos in 1820

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