Statuette of Aphrodite rising from the sea (Anadyomene)

Greek or Roman, Eastern Mediterranean
Hellenistic or Imperial Period
100 B.C.–A.D. 70

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), no. 024.


Overall: 55 cm (21 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Europe, The Ancient World



Nude female figure of Aphrodite Anadyomene arranging her long hair, based on a Hellenistic prototype. The goddess of love and beauty, is shown drying herself after being born full-grown from the sea. In Greek the theme is entitled “Aphrodite Anadyomene,” and the birth was thought to have taken place off the coast of Cyprus. She stands on her own pedestal, her left hip resting against a support in the form of a drapery-covered stump. A garment for her use is draped over the tree stump. This composition could also be interpreted as Aphrodite emerging from her bath. Such sculptures had a great popularity in gardens where water basins or fountains were present.
This statuette is intact, with an even yellow patina on the surfaces.

Scientific Analysis:
Harvard Lab No. HI224: Isotope ratios - delta13C +3.34 / delta18O -5.99, Attribution - Naxos, Sardis, Justification - Medium to coarse grained marble.


1982, sold by Mohammad Yeganeh (dealer; b. 1929 - d. 2012), Frankfurt, to the MFA [see note]. (Accession Date: June 9, 1982)

NOTE: According to the dealer at the time of purchase, this was said to have been found in Asia Minor.

Credit Line

Classical Department Exchange Fund