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Art / Aphrodite of Menophantos

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The Aphrodite of Menophantos is a Roman marble statue of the goddess Venus. It bears the signature of Menophantos, ("ἀπὸ τῆc / ἐν Τρῳάδι / Ἀφροδίτηc / Μηνόφαντοc / ἐποίε") a Greek sculptor, apparently of the 1st century BCE, of whom nothing more is known.

It was found at the Camaldolese monastery of San Gregorio al Celio in Rome, and is now in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome. Not to be confused with the Venus de Milo


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Aphrodite of Menophantos provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Modesty: Aphrodite was famous for her promiscuity, so for her to be portrayed with any sense of physical modesty can count toward this. This could be a downplayed example, as scholars believe that she is not trying to cover herself and more like she is being depicted in motion, her expression contemplative and her hands positioned in a show of modesty being a complete coincidence. Other scholars like Gerhart Rodenwaldt argue that she is trying to conceal her nakedness because men who have seen a goddess naked have been inflicted with Karmic Misfire in the past, like with what happened to Actaeon and Teiresias when they found Artemis and Athena bathing respectively.
  • Art Imitates Art: Its design takes the form of "Venus Pudica", based on another statue, the Capitoline Venus.
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  • Contrapposto Pose: She very visibly favors her left leg over her right.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Aphrodite is completely naked, struggling to cover herself up with her hand a sheet.
  • Love Goddess: It is a portrayal of Venus, Roman Goddess of Love.

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