Torso of Aphrodite

Ancient Rome, 1st century AD

In the middle of the 4th century BC the Greek sculptor Praxiteles first depicted Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, naked. This was such a daring innovation that the citizens of Kos, who had commissioned the statue, refused to accept it. The rejected statue was acquired by the citizens of Cnidus in Asia Minor and the Aphrodite of Cnidus, the embodiment of perfect feminine beauty, became a model for many generations of artists in Greece and Rome. The Roman copy in the Hermitage collection goes back to an early Hellenistic original. Only the torso of the statue has survived; its forms convey the beauty and harmony of the mature female body. To meet the taste which prevailed in the 3rd century BC the Hellenistic sculptor made the proportions of the figure lighter and more slender and the lines of the body softer than in Praxiteles's work.


Torso of Aphrodite




78,8 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1852; acquired from Count von Nesselrode

Inventory Number: