Bust of Aphrodite/Venus



Head of Aphrodite on a modern bust. The original movement of the head may have been altered when the head was attached to the modern bust. The neck line suggests that the head was turned to the left but the restorer used a turn downwards. The face and the hair are well preserved and the woman has an elongated oval face, the eyes also elongated and deeply set. Her mouth is slightly open, revealing her teeth. Similar to the turn of the head, the slightly open mouth gives the bust an emotional depth and a slight moodiness. The hair is thick around the face and falls in parallel loose strands. The waves are controlled by a thin hairband that encircles the crown. Bartman observed that the hair and the bun are restorations following typical representations of Aphrodite. Although there is no doubt that the face represents the goddess it is difficult to imagine what type of body would have been attached to the head, especially because of the turn of the head and the veiled treatment of the eyes. Ashmole and Felleti Maj believe that the body would be of the Medici type Aphrodite. Bartman observes that the head is typical of representations of the Goddess Aphrodite popular from the 4th century BC and that it is the product of a Roman workshop. Although not a rare head it is well carved and it would have been much admired in the 18th century. The head has restorations on the nose and the entire top of the hair crown and the knot as well as the bun. There is surface damage to the hair and discolouration on the eyes and lips. The ears are pierced for earrings.