The Chaste Aphrodite on display at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden is a largely destroyed sculpture of the Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty, Aphrodite. What remains of this marble Roman copy of the Hellenistic original that was originally produced in 3rd-2nd century BCE, is a sculpture of the torso with exposed breasts and pubic area. Even though the head and lower arms and legs are missing, it is evident that from the way Aphrodite’s waist bends, the sculpture originally utilized a contrapposto position, in which a standing human figure is poised in such a way that most of its weight rests upon one leg, freeing the other leg and causing a bend at the knee. Because of this weight shift, this causes the upper body and head to tilt at an angle, creating the appearance of relaxation and portraying a realistic human pose. This object is significant because it represents the development of the portrayal of women and sexuality in Classical Greek and Hellenistic art.
The Chaste Aphrodite is a variant of the Capitoline Venus, a type of statue in which Aphrodite – or her Roman equivalent, Venus ¬– is depicted to look startled as if she were caught by surprise after bathing. In all variations of the Capitoline Venus, Aphrodite attempts to conceal her pubic area with one hand, and her breasts with the other. This creates a sensual effect since this action of loosely covering herself paradoxically emphasizes her beauty rather than conceals it.
The Capitoline Venus is also a derivative of