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Mary Beard and Aphrodite

In the first of a weekly series, new for Michaelmas Term, entitled In Conversation With, Mary Beard, Professor of Classics, tells us why the Aphrodite of Knidos speaks to her.

 

a woman with long grey hair reaches out to statue of a naked woman
Mary Beard with our cast of the Aphrodite of Knidos, a Roman version of a lost third century BCE original

 

‘This is a version of the first ever full sized female nude statue in western art, sculpted in the fourth century BCE. Controversial when it was first made (one of the sculptor's clients, said a very firm 'No Thanks' when offered it!), it has remained both admired and controversial ever since.

'How do we look at it? Can marble flesh provoke desire? What exactly is she doing with her hands? Covering up those bits she doesn't want us to see? Or pointing to them?’

 

Want to see Aphrodite for yourself? The Aphrodite of Knidos can be found in Bay C.

Want to know more about the Aphrodite of Knidos and our cast? Check out our research catalogue.

 

 

 

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