We speak today about Venus of Milo, found by a farmer on the island of Milos and now showed at the Louvre Museum. Carved in 130 BC by Alexandros of Antioch, is remembered by everybody for the lack of arms, think falls during transport.
But detailed studies of archaeometry that we started recently in collaboration of the University of Cambridge and the Sorbonne in Paris, confirm that the sculpture has never had arms.
The studies were conducted simultaneously at the Louvre and Cambridge. The X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and the 3D model of the statue reveals that the areas of “breaking” of the arms are modeled skillfully with the chisel. In fact, the size of some grooves in the stumps, are the same of the chisel of other areas, such as the drapery rippled that covers part of the figure. Enlarging the photo we can see that the stump has the same plot of draping:
We ask us: why the sculptor would make a work deliberately damaged? To search for an explanation we asked the opinion of Professor Marco Calzini, professor in the Research Center of History and Art of Aurillac, a leading expert of the Venus.
Here is his statement:
“Venus (or Aphrodite in greek), symbol of love and fertility, mingled indiscriminately with men and goddess, at any time of the day or night but mine is not a criticism. Is for her curiosity that she participated in the daily activities of ordinary mortals . The specific location of the stumps of Venus, have allowed us to understand the original form of the arms never carved, but still present in the imagination of the sculptor. Here is a model in marble made by myself, I’m very proud:
The position of the left arm suggests a request for boarding by Venus (carrostop), and points with his scantily clad prostitutes who are often on the edges of the roads. The dignity of the Goddess is not, however, diminished. On the contrary emerges a Venus stubborn, strong-willed, that gives us a modern and full of woman who reassesses her body and her sexuality without coercion and fear of losing so their respectability. His dignity is in fact to put herself on the same level of a prostitute. The Goddess demanded compensation for his services, not necessity of course, but to make more concrete the role of a prostitute, and ennoble the category that became like a Goddess.
The sagacious Alexandros of Antioch wanted to tell a story through his sculpture. He wanted to show the dangers that even a Goddess could run, if engaged in the difficult job. In fact, Venus was punished, losing his arm exposed, maybe sliced from a wagon in speed traveling.
The Goddess, stubborn, not desisted and showed the other thumb.
But she lost that, too. “
Until now they had crossed the strangest theories about the role of arms:
Sometimes almost reaching the farce:
In this new perspective we discover a Venus more complex, that it is not simply posing as a mannequin. But Venus is an active goddess, which brings into play his dignity while offering his love. We find in her stubbornness typical of women. We find a symbol that should make us reflect on the nobility of the female sex, anything but weak, but strong enough to give up arms in order to enjoy a night of love.
We do not hitchhike would deny … And you?
The theory of Calzini is the most authoritative and corroborated. Nevertheless only the Alexandros of Antioch could confirm it definitively. We would like to explore other theories on the mystery of the arms of Venus, and we invite our readers to formulate them freely in the space dedicated to comments.