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ID number:  BIRBI-45.10
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Greek
Title / Object name:  Head of Aphrodite
Object type:  Sculpture
Culture:  Greek
Date made:  4th century BC
Materials:  Marble
Measurements:  30 x 14 x 14cm including base; 19.5 cm high for just marble head
Provenance:  John Edward Taylor Collection, sold at Christie's, 28 May 1825; sold at Christie's, 4 July 1912, lot 400; bought by F, Partridge; E.G. Raphael, Surrey, purchased from Sotheby's, 9 November 1945, lot 5, for £95

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.

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