In addition to remaining a personified symbol of love and desire, Greek goddess Aphrodite has inspired a collection of beautiful art so expansive that it practically merits its own genre. Museum of Fine Arts Assistant curator Phoebe Segal was kind enough to give us further insight into their newest exhibit: Aphrodite and the Gods of Love.
“The exhibition is the first ever exhibition [at the MFA] devoted to the ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite, and it includes 160 works of Greek, Roman and Etruscan art ranging from large marble sculpture to Pompeian frescoes to Athenian vases—and also including precious gems and jewelry. It’s a wide-ranging group of objects that feature the images of the goddess and her children.”
The exhibit includes 13 loans, nine of which are from Rome and Naples, in order to present varying perspectives of the deity—who in the aforementioned cities would otherwise be known by her Roman name of Venus.
“Traditionally, Aphrodite has been thought of as merely the goddess of love and beauty. Through this exhibition we are exposing her other manifestations, her more dangerous and complex nature.”
She was also the goddess of warriors, and she also presided over political unions. So she wasn’t just the goddess of sexual unions, but also just bringing people together. We are bringing out her more complex nature in order to broaden our understanding.”
I can already picture it: a room full of alluring, ancient stone carved into delicate faces and curving torsos.
Talk about a solid aphrodisiac.
APHRODITE AND THE GODS OF LOVE