A Divine Offering

Female nude, bronze statuette. Etruria, circa 300 BCE. 8-4604.

The acquisition record of this object states that it came from Etruria. Etruscan artists were able bronze workers. This female nude may have been offered as a gift to an Etruscan goddess, such as Turan, the goddess of love and fertility. The statuette wears a stephane, a decorative headpiece traditionally reserved for goddesses. Although Etruscan in its identity and makers, the work is stylistically indebted to Greek art. The Hearst nude shares a number of similarities with Praxiteles’s fourth-century masterpiece, the Knidian Aphrodite, the first Greek goddess represented in the nude (see the following entry).

-Tara Madhav

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