The Venus Callipyge
Marble. Roman copy of a Greek original, the head and shoulders — restoration by the sculptor Albacini (1735—1813).
Inv. No. 6020.
Naples, National Archaeological Museum Photo by Sergey Sosnovskiy

The Venus Callipyge.

Marble. Roman copy of a Greek original, the head and shoulders — restoration by the sculptor Albacini (1735—1813).
Inv. No. 6020.

Naples, National Archaeological Museum
(Napoli, Museo archeologico nazionale di Napoli)

Description:
The artistic quality of this sculpture, found in the area of the Domus Aurea, is observable in its ancient part, the lower one, while the head and shoulders are integrations by Albacini. The correctness of the restoration is at all events confirmed by comparisons with gems and bronzes, also indicating that it must have been a renowned work. Since Praxiteles, with his Cnidia, first unveiled the body of the goddess of beauty in the 4th century B.C., Hellenistic art explored every nuance of the theme of the naked female figure. The motif is here treated with the mischievous and light taste of the so-called Hellenistic “rococò” of the 2nd century B.C., and the idyllic theme of the fountain becomes a pretext for the goddess’ nudity. Aphrodite, about to bathe, raises her dress and turns her head back to admire the reflection on the water of her splendid posterior nudity, justifying perhaps the modern name of kallipygos (“of the beautiful buttocks”) erroneously attributed to this statue while it actually refers to a famous statue in a temple in Syracuse.

Stefano De Caro
Credits:
(ńń) 2006. Photo: Sergey Sosnovskiy (CC BY-SA 4.0).
© 1996. Description: Stefano De Caro, The National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Soprintendenza Archeologica di Napoli e Caserta. Electa, Napoli, 2001, p. 314.
Keywords: marble statue the Venus Callipyge Aphrodite Kallipygos Callipygian Afrodite Callipige Venere Callipigia sculptor Carlo Albacini the Farnese collection Inv No 6020
History of Ancient Rome