Bust of Aphrodite



Bust of a female, plausibly the goddess Aphrodite identified by the idealised way she is portrayed and the locks which are swept up into the so-called Aphrodite knot. This kind of knot can be also used for statues of Apollo, but the Ince bust has a feminine look especially with the small mouth and the way the hair frames the delicate face. The wide bunches of hair that curve back from the centre part in a large loop although obliterated by reworking and restoration indicate that the head represented Venus in a Hellenistic guise This type of head was also used for different Venus statue types such as the Crouching, the Medici, the Pudica and the Syracuse one. It is therefore difficult to establish the original context for such heads. The head was restored to a great extent as it is clear from the range of finishes such as the deep drilling of the curls of the hairknot and the regularised chiseling of the hair on the crown. This type of restoration was poor and Volpato who is the artist named as the restorer did not have a great reputation as a restorer. Blundell criticised Volpato's restoration as horrid but perhaps purchased the head because it had an exceptional provenance: it once adorned the statue of Venus signed by Menophantos in the Palazzo Chigi. Blundell recorded that the head had been patched up by Volpato but because it was inadequate for the statue was replaced by another head. We do not know when the head was removed and sold to Blundell. After its removal from the Chigi statue it was mounted on a square bust and a round profiled base which is standard for 18th century. The head's restorations are in the nose and upper lip, left ear and hair, part of the bun and back. A restored area above the right ear is missing and so are the small patches at the inner corner of the right eye and the outer left eye. The outer edge of the bun is abraded, much of the hair has been reworked especially the hairline.