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Aphrodite and Pan Statue
13.75 inches tall
Bonded stone resin
This Aphrodite and Pan Statue shows the hilarious interplay of Love and Lust. As Pan tries to embrace Aphrodite while Eros (Cupid) watches, Aphrodite fends him off with her sandal.
Aphrodite is the famous 'Goddess of Love'. Equated with Venus by the Romans, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione (a freshwater Nymph, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys). Another myth relates the tale of the castration Ouranos (Roman Uranus) at the hands of his son Chronos (Roman Saturn), and how his severed genitals were cast into the sea which engendered Aphrodite.
She is often depicted in myth as having an ambivalent female nature which combines seductive charm, physical beauty, the drive to procreate, and a certain capacity for deception and intrigue. Also called Cypris (the Cyprian) by the Greeks, the cult of her origin was thought to have been out of the east near Cyprus.
Aphrodite is a Goddess not of love in a modern romantic sense, but rather love as attraction, seduction and desire in an unabashed pagan way. She presides over sexuality and reproduction, the very thing necessary for the continuity of a community or civilization. Often young women made sacrifice to Aphrodite before their wedding ceremonies, so that their first sexual experience would be fruitful. In this sense there is an obvious connection in the imagery of the bountiful vegetation and fruits of the earth with the voluptuousness of Aphrodite.
Aphrodite's titles included Hetaira (courtesan) and Porne (prostitute) and she was considered a protectress by women in those professions who relied on seduction for their vocation.
Aphrodite was worshiped by men for a safe voyage over the seas, and by magistrates and officials for her capacity to bring civic harmony and civility.
Pan is the famous half-goat God of ancient Arcadia. He is the Protector of shepherds and their flocks, and the God presiding over small game hunting, such as that of rabbits and birds (while <//kw:Artemis> presides of the hunt of larger game like deer). There are at least 14 different myths concerning his origins, but many relate that his father was Hermes, and that his mother was a Nymph.
Pan is ever the rustic and rowdy God, often chasing after Nymphs such as Echo and Psyche, or even after the Moon Selene herself (who always escapes him). He is often pictured in the midst of revelry, either dancing or drinking or playing the Syrinx (Pan-pipes). Many worshiped him in caves, but his cults were found in cities as well.
In later times Pan's role was greatly expanded from a pastoral God into a universal God, playing upon his name which in Greek means "All". In yet another role, his debaucherous and drunken side was often identified by the Romans with their Bacchus.
Bonded stone statue replica of the original found on the island of Delos, now in the National Museum, Athens, Greece, 100 B.C. 13.75 inches tall, 8 inches wide and 5 inches deep.