Head of Aphrodite
Greece, 4th century BC
30 (19.5 excluding base) x 14 x 14 cm
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty; the Roman equivalent was Venus. She is shown here with wavy hair, which is a delicate nod to the notion that she sprang from the sea. Her hair is parted in the middle, bound by a diadem (ornamental headband), and gathered in a knot at the back. This head is possibly a copy of Hellenistic date (323-146 BC) of an original by the great Greek sculptor Praxiteles (about 400-330 BC). This version once belonged to John Edward Taylor (1791-1844), founder of the (Manchester) Guardian newspaper.
Purchased 1945 (No. 45.10)