Thursday, March 29, 2012

Aphrodite at the Getty

Depictions of Aphrodite from a new exhibit at the Getty Villa in Malibu, California. We think of Aphrodite as the goddess of erotic love, but she was more than that: she was part of the divine feminine and had roles in childbirth, marriage, poetic inspiration, and even war. Above, a bronze mirror showing women bathing before a state of the goddess.

The "Bartlett Head," part of a marble statue of Aphrodite from about 300 BC.

This ring shows Aphrodite weighing spirits of love.

Aphrodite Wringing out her Hair, a standard image of which many examples survive. This one is probably from Syria, made between 100 BC and AD 70.

An image of the mysterious "armed Aphrodite," a figure of obscure import, found in southern Italy and dating to around 600 BC.

A relief found in Athens, 400 to 300 BC, showing worshipers approaching the goddess.

Wall fragment from the House of Jupiter at Pompeii, showing the judgment of Paris. This depiction shows Paris' problem: the poor man's brain was addled by the appearance of a naked goddess. No wonder he made such a disastrous decision.

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