1st Century BC-1st Century AD




Marble, Paros 2, Aphrodisias
11 7/16 x 10 in. (29.1 x 25.4 cm)

Object Number



Aphrodite was the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. Formal, clothed images of her from the Archaic and Early Classical periods were gradually replaced with more sensual versions, sometimes nude or partly so, which explore female sexuality more explicitly.

Here, Aphrodite's softly-rendered features are framed by loosely-waving hair bound up in a chignon. Her diadem (stephane) may have been faced in sheet gold and attached by use of the holes at either side.

This sculpture comes from a statue of Aphrodite, goddess of love in all its forms. To the Greeks, this was sometimes seen in terms of human passion (Aphrodite Pandemos) and something more profound, even divine (Aphrodite Ourania).

Her centrally parted hair, done up behind in a chignon and set with a diadem, together with the tilt of the head, suggest that this is a copy of the so-called Aphrodite of Capua. The original was one of the most influential fourth century types; its descendents include the famous Venus de Milo in the Louvre. In Roman times, the type would later be modified to become a Victoria.

The Aphrodite of Capua showed the goddess partly nude. Early representations of Aphrodite show her elaborately dressed, a tradition that continues throughout antiquity. The diadem has drilled holes at the sides, probably to attach a gold foil facing.

Credit Line

Carlos Collection of Ancient Art


MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, September 2004 - August 26, 2013|
MCCM Permanent Collection Galleries, September 25, 2013 - May 20, 2016|
Roman Myth and Myth-Making, Jundt Art Museum, Gonzaga University September 17, 2016 - December 17, 2016
Michael C. Carlos Museum Handbook (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 1996), 66.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2004.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



“Aphrodite,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed September 18, 2020, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7942.

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