Venus Landolina


The Afrodite Landolina, preserved in the Archaeological Museum Paolo Orsi of Siracusa, is a marble sculpture, a Roman copy of  a Hellenistic original. It is a Venus Pudica, derived by the Afrodite Cnidia, artwork/sculpture of Parassitele

The statuary type is known from many copies, including that of the National Museums of Athens, which was integrated in an arbitrary manner by Canova, copying the head of the Venere Capitolina. The sculpture shows the goddess in all her majesty, as she just emerged from the waters at her birth, even though she is not caught in the act of wringing out her wet hair, as in the famous painting of Apelles, called Afrodite anadyomene. The object of this representation is the power of feminine seduction, and the witness of Luciano di Samosata, which shows the enthusiasm of a certain Caricle in seeing this statue in Syracuse in the II century AD, proves that the objective of the sculptor was fully achieved. Moreover, the passage of Luciano seems to describe precisely the Syracusan statue, and this can be understood by some anatomical details which can be found both in the marble statue and in the words of the writer Luciano. 


Our reconstruction uses Canova’s head, and the colour pink, which was originally chosen to show the complexion of the goddess, was not used. It would have been an unjustified waste to use a valuable and bright marble and then covering it up with varnish. The colour of the cloak, which is arbitrary, is red, and it contrast with the white marble. And finally, the hair of the goddess is blond, realised with the usage of golden sheets.

English translation by Corinna Castrizio.