Category Archives: Museum Treasures

A Last Venus/Aphrodite Figure

We’ve celebratedVenusfig the many faces of Aphrodite as part of the buildup to the release of my first erotic romance story. Her Teddy Bare is a short story in the Aphrodite’s Island series which will be released on May 6th (Read a blurb and excerpt by clicking the cover on the left.)

The last Aphrodite is actually a Venus figure. It’s over 30.000 years old and not as beautiful as most we have seen the last two weeks.  The many Venus figures from Western Europe are some of the earliest art found with the oldest being around 40,000 years old. The purpose could be religious, apotropaic (good luck figure), or for fertility. Read more about it and creating scifi/fantasy worlds today at my new group blog, Worlds of the Imagination HERE.

Tomorrow, The search for Aphrodite’s Island begins.

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Aphrodite/Venus in a Bikini

Venus in Bikini Secret roomJsmThis is a seldom seen statue of Aphrodite in a “bikini.” Thought bikinis were recent inventions? No-no. This statue is considered too risqué to be on public display. Unusual considering some of the others we’ve seen. The statue was discovered in Pompeii. It is kept in the “Secret Room” in the Museum of Naples with limited access.

BTW, as you may have guessed by now, I spent a lot of time in Italy – four years to be exact. Pompeii was one of my favorite places to visit. Imagine a place sealed in stone for 2,000 years.

The Romans were not that concerned about nudity. Consequently, there were many risqué statues, frescoes, and mosaics. Some were so risqué they were covered with grates. Of course, a tip could get that grate open to some really revealing pics. Tomorrow, Elizabeth Fountain visits An Author’s Desk.

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Another Aphrodite from Pompeii

pompeii-venus-painting-romanhome

This is another painting of Aphrodite in one of Pompeii’s private homes, the House of Venus. Some of the homes remained in excellent shape. Even gardens could be recreated from the remains of roots that were excavated.  While not the original, it’s believed to be modeled on Campaspe, Alexander the Great’s mistress, by Apelles – at the time considered the greatest painter of the time.  Tomorrow, more Aphrodite.

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A Pompeian Aphrodite

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This Venus who is the patroness of Pompeii  is from the workshop of Marcus Verecundus. The fresco features Venus/Aphrodite riding on the back of four elephants. Verecundus  was a fabric merchant and this and several other frescoes were on his shop front. Ancient political graffiti defaced some of the frescoes. Tomorrow,  Another Pompeii Venus.

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A Temple of Aphrodite/Venus

Temple of Venus

The Roman town of Pompeii which was buried by volcanic ash and pumice during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.  The Temple of Venus was one of the buildings buried for almost 2,000 years.     Tomorrow,  Venus in Pompeii.

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Aphrodite at Her Bath

AphroditeKneelingThis “Crouching Venus” or “Venus at her Bath” is a Roman copy from the 2nd century AD of a Greek original. Typical of the Hellenistic Greek statues, the beauty of the statue can be viewed from any angle. Praxiteles, a famous Greek sculptor of the 4th century BC sculpted the first nude statue of Aphrodite (featured on another day). Other versions of this statue feature Eros or a water jug for bathing. The statue was owned by King Charles I of England at one time. It is now housed in the British Museum. Tomorrow, another Venus.

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Aphrodite, Isis, & an Empress

300px-Venus_Isis_Met_26_7_1475Although the Greek/Roman Aphrodite/Venus and the Egyptian goddess Isis were major figures in their respective religions, they were sometimes represented together. Images of Aphrodite wearing the Egyptian vulture cap have been found in the Middle East.  This statuette of the goddess may have been made in the image of the Roman Empress Faustina Minor, wife of Marcus Aurelius. During the Imperial period, the Imperial family was often represented in the guise of gods and goddesses which associated them, the empire, and religion.  This bronze figure from the second century AD is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Tomorrow, More Aphrodite.

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Aphrodite & Helen by Angelica Kauffman

venus-helen-kauffman

This is a section of a Aphrodite/Venus and Helen of Sparta/Troy that was painted in 1790 by the Swiss Austrian female artist Angelica Kauffman (1741 – 1807). Kauffman was painting professionally by the age of 12. She worked in Italy and Britain, where she was a popular painter and a friend of Joshua Reynolds.

Tomorrow, More of Aphrodite

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A “Modern” Judgement of Paris

JudofParisWagrez

This is a more modern Judgment of Paris.  Jacque Clement Wagrez (1850 – 1908) was a French painter and illustrator famous for painting the palaces of  the wealthy French. He studied in France and Italy. While he painted during the latter half of the 19th century, he garbed his models in Italian Renaissance clothing. Finding images of Aphrodite with clothes on has been a challenge.

Tomorrow, Author Liz Fountain Visits An Author’s Desk

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Aphrodite & Ares at Pompeii

F10_2Aphrodite& Ares PompeiiAphrodite, the Goddess of Love and  her lover, Ares, the God of War are pictured in this fresco in Pompeii, Italy. Aphrodite had many lovers and Ares was one of the long-term paramours. Aphrodite/ Venus was a frequent subject of the artists of the ancient world.

To produce a fresco, paint is applied to wet plaster that has been spread on a wall. While some examples of fresco survive the media itself is susceptible to deterioration over time, destruction by human hands,  and to external damage from weathering, floods, or earthquake.

Frescoes survive in Pompeii probably more often than any other site of the ancient world. In 79 AD  Pompeii, a small but wealthy town on the Mediterranean south of Naples, was buried under volcanic ash and rocks when Vesuvius erupted. Prior to the eruption the volcano was covered by trees, vineyards, villas, and pastureland and the populace was unaware that they were living on a time bomb. The eruption was totally unexpected and resulted in the death of many of the citizens and the preservation of much of Pompeii in a hardened ash and volcanic rock. Consequently, many frescoes – like the one here –  were preserved in all their magnificent colors.  Tomorrow, More Aphrodite.

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