Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Ardon Bar-Hama
Statue of Aphrodite
Beth Shean
Roman period, 2nd century CE
Marble from Aphrodisias (Asia Minor) and pigment
H: 156; W: 42 cm
Israel Antiquities Authority
Accession number: IAA 2001-2987
This statue decorated the great bathhouse in the center of Roman Beth Shean. One of the most beautiful of its type ever discovered, it depicts the goddess Aphrodite (the Roman Venus) in the pose known as “Modest Venus”: nude and sensual but covering her breasts and genitalia. To her left is Cupid riding a dolphin. Colorful paint, marvelously preserved, can be found on Venus’ curls, breasts, genitalia, and arms, and in particular on Cupid’s wings.

The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005
Zalmona, Yigal, ed., The Israel Museum at 40: Masterworks of Beauty and Sanctity, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2005
Beauty and Sanctity: the Israel Museum at 40. A Series of Exhibitions Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Zalmona, Yigal, 2006

The Beauty of Sanctity: Masterworks from Every Age, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 29/03/2005 - 12/11/2005

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir