Portraiture and the Royal Cult Old Gods, New uises Materials, Style, and Technique



Marble Head of Aphrodite Anadyomene

Egypt, from Oxyrhynchus, ca.100 B.C.
H. 6.9 cm (2 3/4")
William Lowe Bryan Memorial, Gift of James Adams, 58.30

The creator of the Anadyomene type (which depicts Aphrodite rising from the sea) was the fourth-century B.C. Greek painter Apelles. The model, according to Pliny, was Alexander the Great's mistress, Pankaspe (Natural History 35.87). The popularity of the Anadyomene sculptures in Egypt made many authors think that they originated in Alexandria. Most of the known examples are small scale. Their function was probably votive, to be used in private shrines or nympheums, as is documented by examples showing the goddess within the architectural setting of a niche or aedicule.



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