Venus de Milo

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Venus de Milo


Personal Opinion

Venus de Milo is one of the most known pieces of art in display at the Louver museum. It was discovered in the Milo Island in Greek in 1820. However, the name given to the statue is a little confusing; Venus is a love goddess among the roman. The sculpture was discovered in Greek and it would be therefore proper to give her the name Aphrodite. It is still not clear whether the sculpture is indeed a Greek love goddess. However, due to her naked body and beauty, many are left with the conclusion of Aphrodite. Moreover, the statue portrays certain elements of Hellenistic art. It also brings out certain classical ideologies; the perfect body form, the timelessness it portrays together with the calmness is all seen to be classical. Elements of Hellenistic art are portrayed through the swift flow observed at the back of the statue together with the curves in her robes that have been crafted wonderfully. Merging these two styles of art makes the resulting sculpture to be a remarkable one. It is very hard to read Venus de Milo’s face hence creating a mystery. The statue also has a beautiful female body form that creates a great symmetrical balance creating an eternal impression to anyone who catches it in a single moment (Curtis 2010).

Historical Context

Also known as Aphrodite of Milos, the Venus de Milo is a statue from ancient Greece and is considered to be one of the most famous works when it comes to Greek sculptures. It is believed that the sculpture was created around 100BC. It is believed to portray the image of Aphrodite; Greek goddess of beauty and love. The sculpture is made of marble and has a height of about 6 ft. 8. Upon its discovery, part of the original plinth and an arm were lost. This statue is believed to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch. Currently, the work of art is being displayed in Paris; at the Louvre museum. It was discovered in the island of Milos, Greek hence its name.

Myth Accompanying the Sculpture

Most experts believe that the Venus de Milo is a representation of Aphrodite; a Greek goddess. Moreover, it is believed to depict a lot when it comes to the story about the Paris judgment. In this story, it is said that Paris, a young prince was given an apple that was golden by the discord goddess. The prince was required to give this apple as an award to the most beautiful lady during a contest. The three contestants in the contest were Hera, Aphrodite and Athena. The contest was won by Aphrodite after she bribed the prince with love considered to be from the most beautiful woman who was mortal; Helen of Sparta. She was therefore awarded the golden apple (Neff & Fiume 2006).

The Theme of Beauty and Mystery

In the 19th century, the Venus de Milo was considered to be one of the greatest treasures when it comes to Greek art. Many art critics concurred with the fact that the piece of art was a clear representation of female aesthetics and beauty. Moreover, the statue has a remarkable blend of grace and grandeur (Gough 1995). Despite the fact that the enthusiasm and veneration given to such Greek work of art has faded in the recent years, the Venus de Milo still has a lot of mystery behind it. Despite the fact that the Venus de Milo is believed to be a representation of Aphrodite; this is due to her feminine sensual curves, she might alternatively be a representation of Amphitrite, a sea goddess who was worshipped and adored in Milo during the time of its discovery. However, according to Louvre, the statue closely resembles the Aphrodite of Capua and it might therefore be an imitation of Greek sculptures from the 4th century.

Relevance of The Artwork in Today’s Audience

With the ever dynamic world today, the idea of beauty especially among females keeps on evolving. With this evolution, meanings from the Venus de Milo are being reconstructed and rediscovered. Take for instance, many female activists today are using the statue to symbolize the vulnerability of women in the society and the sexual violence they suffer; the missing arms in the statue. In fact, in 2012, women took to the streets protesting against the French laws about rape, posing for photos in front of the statue topless. This was followed by calls for empowering women. Despite the fact that the statue was developed to be immortal and stationary, she acts as a representation of a woman on the move, very active and in motion (Siebers 2010). This can be observed from all the angles of the statue. In addition, the sculpture has also inspired works of various artists such as Dali, Cezanne, Jim Dine and Magritte. It depicts strong themes with regard to culture hence its popularity.