Statuette of Aphrodite and Eros on a Base

Object Details


Statuette of Aphrodite and Eros on a Base






Probably Egypt (Place created)


2nd - 1st century B.C.




28.7 cm (11 5/16 in.)

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In this intimate sculptural portrayal of a relationship between two divinities, Aphrodite playfully threatens her mischievous son, Eros. The goddess of love wears a stephane–a crown–over her cascading hair and holds a folded cestus–a girdle–just above her shoulder, ready to slap her son. Eros–his wings fully extended–playfully holds up his hand to protect himself.

This scene represents a divine counterpart to the everyday closeness between a mortal mother and her son. During the Hellenistic era, gods and goddesses were often portrayed in a more personal way. This method of representation was a dramatic departure from the earlier Classical style, when the gods were represented more formally as gods, rather than as lighthearted–and humanlike–creatures.

Classical Connections: The Enduring Influence of Greek and Roman Art (December 16, 2003 to November 9, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 2003 to November 9, 2008, (Cat.)
Grecian Taste and Roman Spirit: The Society of Dilettanti (August 7, 2008 to October 27, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, (Malibu), August 7 to October 27, 2008, (Cat.)
Collector's Choice: J. Paul Getty and His Antiquities (November 18, 2009 to February 8, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, (Malibu), November 18, 2009 to February 8, 2010, (Cat.)
Aphrodite and the Gods of Love (March 28, 2012 to May 26, 2013)
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, October 26, 2011 to February 20, 2012, (Cat.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, (Malibu), March 28 to July 9, 2012, (Cat.)

Reinach, Salomon. Repertoire de la statuaire grecque et romaine. Paris: 1897-1930. Vol. VI, p. 83, no. 2.

Auktion Feuardent, Paris. Catalogue des Antiquites, Collection Lehmann. February 6, 1925. lot. 120; pl. 14.

Neugebauer, K. A. "Die Venus von Grenoble," Pantheon 9 (1936). p. 50, ill.

Bulletin of the J. Paul Getty Museum of Art. Malibu: 1957. p. 15; pl. 6b.

Getty, J. Paul. The Joys of Collecting (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1965), p. 78, ill.

Stothart, Herbert. Handbook of the Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Malibu(?): 1965 p. 14, pl. 4.

Parlasca, Klaus. Mumienportraets und verwandte Denkmaeler. Wiesbaden: 1966. pp. 211-12; pl. 21.

Sams, G. Kenneth, ed. Small Sculptures in Bronze from the Classical World. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, exh. cat., March 7-April 18, 1976. no. 29.

Stemmer, Klaus, ed. In den Garten der Aphrodite. Exh. cat. Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik, Berlin, Germany, 15 July-11 November, 2001. pp. 129-30, n. 65, fig. 5.

Mattusch, Carol C. Enduring Bronze: Ancient Art, Modern Views (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014), pp. 47-48, fig. 24.