Return to Venus de Milo

Venus Felix

The Venus Felix would seem to offer a plausible model for the placement of the missing arms of the Venus de Milo. The right arm is approximately correct, still clutching at the slipping gown. And, as inelegant as it must have looked, the herm of Hercules, to which the statue was dedicated and with which it shared a common plinth, is the most obvious support for the raised left arm—if the herm can be imagined as substituting for the Eros. (One wonders if there is any evidence of such contact on the head of the herm itself.)

Here, the forearm is held higher than in Furtwängler's reconstruction. Again, one must imagine the hand holding the apple at eye level and Venus (Aphrodite) contemplating the symbol of her victory over her rivals.

The Venus Felix in the Octagonal Court of the Pio-Clementine Museum (Vatican) is yet another copy of Praxiteles' Aphrodite. Dating to about AD 170, the head is similar to Faustina the Younger. Although the subject is not indicated, the inscription does identify the patrons who commissioned it.

 Return to Top of Page