Aphrodite, so-called Charis.

Marble. Roman copy of the Imperial age from a Hellenistic reworking of an original by Callimachus (late 5th century BCE).
Inv. No. 607.

Rome, Palatine Museum

From the south side of the Domus Tiberiana on the Palatine, Rome, 1862.

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); M. A. Tomei, Sculture dal Palatino, in Archeologia a Roma. La materia e la tecnica nell’arte antica, ed. M. R. Di Mino, M. Bertinetti, Exhibition catalogue (Roma, April-December 1990), Rome, 1990; Archeologia a Roma, p. 122, n. 106 (D. Candilio); A. Delivorrias, Problémes de conséquence méthodologique et ambiguité iconographique, MEFRA, 103, 1991, p. 141; L. Todisco, La scultura greca del IV secolo a. C., Milan, 1993, p. 59, fig. 81.

(ńń) 2008. Photo: Sergey Sosnovskiy (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Text: museum inscription to the sculpture.
© 1997. Text of description: Tomei M. A. Museo Palatino. Electa, Milano, 1997, p. 127, cat. no. 105.
Keywords: Dolomitic tasio Thasian marble statue of Aphrodite Venus Afrodite Venere so-called Charis attributed to sculptor Kallimachus Kallimachos Callimachus Callimachos Callimaco female clothes clothing garments chiton Inv No 607