Venus de Milo
It is one of the most iconic sculptures in the world, mostly due to the 1821 Louvre’s branding campaign and emphasis on its importance in order to regain national pride, after Napoleon’s looted art collection was returned to their countries of origin — The museum lost some of its most iconic pieces, like Rome’s Laocoön and His Sons and Italy’s Venus de Medici. Since then, it was praised dutifully by many artists and critics as the epitome of graceful female beauty.
Created sometime between 130 and 100 BC, by Alexandros of Antioch, it seems it was discovered on 8 April 1820 by a peasant named Yorgos Kentrotas, inside a buried niche within the ancient city ruins of Milos. Made of marble, the statue is believed to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, although some scholars claim it is the sea-goddess Amphitrite, venerated on Milos. It is slightly larger than life size at 203 cm high. Part of an arm and the original plinth were lost following the statue’s discovery.
It is currently on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris, from where it has influenced masters of modern art like Salvador Dalí and, in a different way, artists and cartoonists of our time…
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