Rome, Palatine Museum.
105. Aphrodite, the so-called Charis.
From the Rosa excavations. Found in 1862 at the Domus Tiberiana opposite the Temple of Magna Mater. Exhibited in the Museo Palatino (Ghirardini 1881, n. 27), it was later kept at the Museo Nazionale Romano.
Dolomitic tasio marble, medium grain. Height 130; inv. 607.
The statue represents a delicate Aphrodite in a light chiton, which covers her slender body almost as if it were transparent; on the right, it has fallen from the shoulder and breast. Generally it is believed that the model (with an inversion of the position of the chiton on the shoulder), is the Fréjus type Aphrodite, also called Louvre-Naples type or Venus Genitrix — many copies of which are known — from Callimachus’ original, of the late 5th century BC. Given the place of origin, it is thought that the statue, like Venus Genitrix, was kept in a sacellum of the Temple to Magna Mater. Some have considered the Charis a Greek original, but the sensual heat of the forms and diminution of the figure lead us to favour a Roman creation of the late Hellenistic age. Although the representation appears on coins of the empress Sabina, the dating to the Hadrianic age — that usually suggested — does seem convincing. It is more probable that it is a Roman re-elaboration of the late 1st century BC.
G. Henzen, Scavi palatini intrapresi per ordine di S. M. l’imperatore de’ Francesi, BullInst, 1862, p. 233; Museo Nazionale Romano, ed. A. Giuliano, I 1 (1981), p. 133 et seq. n. 96 (O. Vasori); Lexicon Iconographicum Mitologiae Classicae (LIMC), Zürich-München, II (1984), p. 36 et seq. n. 246, s. v. Aphrodite (A. Delivorrias et alii);