The J. Paul Getty Museum

Statuette of Aphrodite

Object Details


Statuette of Aphrodite






Eastern Mediterranean (Place Created)


first half of 2nd century B.C.



Object Number:



38 × 18.5 × 13.7 cm (14 15/16 × 7 5/16 × 5 3/8 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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Object Description

Is the woman depicted in this Greek statuette a mortal or a goddess? The figure stands with her weight on one leg and her hip thrust out in a bold, almost swaggering posture. Platform thong sandals, fashionable in the early 100s B.C., make her taller. The apple held by the figure is usually an attribute of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and alludes to her having been judged the most beautiful of the goddesses. The dress of this figure, however, shows a level of decorum and fashion consciousness not normally found in images of Aphrodite. Indeed, certain elements of the statuette--the decorated crescent-shaped stephane or tiara, the curls of hair brushed forward on the cheeks, and the veil, which clings to her chignon--seem drawn from royal portraiture of the time. The woman may actually represent a Hellenistic queen, perhaps Apollonis of Pergamon, portrayed as Aphrodite.

by 1983

David Aaron (London, England)

- 1987

Robert Haber (New York, New York), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1987.

1987 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995
Aphrodite and the Gods of Love (March 28, 2012 to May 26, 2013)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), March 28 to July 9, 2012
Pergamon and the Art of the Hellenistic Kingdoms (April 11 to July 17, 2016)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), April 11 to July 17, 2016

True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, exh. cat. (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994), pp. 208-11, cat. no. 101.

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust (1997-98), p. 65.

Herrmann Jr., John J. "A Marble Maenad from the Holy Land." Cantor Arts Journal 6 (2008-2009), pp. 7-8, fig. 6, pp. 7-8.

Picón, Carlos A. and Seán Hemingway, eds. Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2016), pp. 237-238, no. 174, ill., entry by Alexis Belis.

Education Resources
Education Resources

Education Resource




Ancient Greek & Roman Talk Show

Lesson in which students research and study artworks that depict Greek and Roman deities and present a mock TV talk show with the deities.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; History–Social Science

6-8; 9-12

Three/Five-Part Lesson