Statue of Aphrodite riding on a goose

Late Classical Period
about 4th century B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 043; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 107-108 (additional published references).


H x W x D: 68.6 x 43.2 x 34.3 cm (27 x 17 x 13 1/2 in.) Mount (Base plate): 28.9 x 27.9 cm (11 3/8 x 11 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens

Not On View


The Ancient World



The goddess is seated on the back of the goose. She grasps the bird’s neck with her left hand; her right hand is raised, holding out her mantle, and her feet are crossed. The goose was flying upward with wings spread. Its legs are hidden in the round plinth, once probably painted blue to represent the air. The goddess wears a short-sleeved chiton tied by a cord just below the breast and held up under the arms by another cord passing over her shoulders and crossed at the back. The voluminous himation covers her legs and her left arm and is drawn up over her head. Her hair is arranged in wavy locks rising vertically above the forehead.
Missing: the head of the goose, the end of the left wing and most of the right wing, the right hand of the goddess, the front of her left foot, the edges of the himation on the right side, and part of the base.
Injured: the nose and chin of the goddess, the fingers of her left hand, and the edge of the himation on the left side. The group was at some time used as a fountain. A large cavity was made in the base; a hole was drilled from this through the bird’s neck; and the upper part of the neck and the head were restored in bronze. These were attached by means of a dowel, the hole for which is visible in the break. The missing part of the left foot of the goddess was also restored, probably at the time of the second use. Otherwise, the surfaces are good, and fairly clean.

Scientific Analysis:

University of South Florida Lab No. 8403: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.7 / delta18O -8.1,

Attribution - Mt. Pentelikon. Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain, Attic style


By 1903: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: From Rome. He cites: Furtwängler, Statue einer Göttin [Bruun-Bruckmann's Denkmâler]: "Formerly in the Somzée Coll - bought in a shop in Rome; found near the Porta San Pancrazio."); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, March 24,1903

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900