Musée Saint-Raymond
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Venus from Martres-Toulouse


Aphrodite Braschi kept at the Glyptothek in Munich, Germany. Bibi Saint-Pol, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Aphrodite Braschi kept at the Glyptothek in Munich, Germany. Bibi Saint-Pol, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Aphrodite from Knidos was created by the Greek sculptor Praxiteles, who lived during the fourth century BCE.
This statue experienced a considerable success throughout Antiquity.

Instead of being made of bronze, she was chiseled in marble from Paros island in the Aegean Sea. Nicias, a famous painter, probably decorated her with colors.
Pliny the Elder placed it above all other works on Earth.

He wrote that Praxiteles supposedly sculpted two Greek Aphrodites: one dressed and the other completely nude. Praxiteles offered them to the inhabitants of the island of Kos, in the Aegean Sea, who wanted to obtain a statue of the goddess. They chose the more modest model.

The inhabitants of the island Knidos, on the other side of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) bought the nude Aphrodite. Very quickly, she went on to become the symbol of the city experiencing glory and fame. Thousands of copies and variants, from statuettes to coins, replicate this sculpture.

© J.-F. Peiré
© J.-F. Peiré
Aphrodite, known to the Romans as Venus, was the goddess of love.
The head from Martres-Tolosane could have belonged to a statue in which she was fit. The face forms an attractive oval. Despite the right eye being higher and larger than the left, the gaze is very soft. The arches of the eyebrows are indistinct. The partially open lips are full and sensual. Two strips of fabric hold the hair pulled back and gathered in a bun on the back of the head.

This head, today named the Venus from Martres, is an emblematic work in the Musée Saint-Raymond.

Marble head of the “Venus from Martres” discovered on the site of the Roman villa of Chiragan (Martres-Tolosane, Haute-Garonne).
First century
Inv. Ra 52
Lu 923 fois

Tolosa's gold age | Chiragan | Necropolis