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Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

Greek, 200 - 150 B.C.
14 15/16 x 7 5/16 x 5 3/8 in.

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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.