Venus Callipyge: The Goddess of the Beautiful Buttocks

Venus Callipyge: The Roman Statue of the Beautiful Buttocks

Goddess of the Beautiful Buttocks  It is used to designate the famous statue of Aphrodite known as the Venus Callipyge, currently in the Archaeological Archeological Museum of Naples. It is a Roman copy of a Greek sculpture found,, in the domus áurea of Nero. Then it went to the Farnese Palace, from there to the King of Naples. Then to your current location.

The Greek voice is formed by kallos (beautiful) and pyge (buttocks). Ancient Greece knew the beauty pageants, it is known that the Callipyge festivals were celebrated in honor of Aphrodite, the celebration consisted of a beauty pageant in which women exposed their buttocks to be judged, hence the term Callipyge, the one with beautiful buttocks.

Venus Callipyge: The Roman Statue of the Beautiful Buttocks
Venus Callipyge: The Roman Statue of the Beautiful Buttocks

The legend of  Venus Callipyge

The origin of the cult of this Aphrodite would be the following. The ancient legends say that the two daughters of a relatively prosperous farmer in Siracusa (Italy), beautiful, cheerful and of sharp wit, bet one Sicilian summer evening on the beauty of their buttocks to see which of them was worthy of the first prize. For this they agreed to show it to a passerby and have him decide who was the winner.

The Goddess of the Beautiful Buttocks on amazon
The Goddess of the Beautiful Buttocks on amazon

The girls lived on the outskirts of the city, so they had to wait a long time to find the appropriate judge. At last a young man with broad shoulders and a neat tunic appeared on the slope of the road. At the precise moment when he reached where they were and saw them, Helena lifted her tunic and, smiling, looked down at her buttocks.

Goddess of the Beautiful Buttocks
Goddess of the Beautiful Buttocks

But he saw not only her buttocks, but her. Cheeky gesture, funny look without lasciviousness, the pout of his mouth, his eyes and skin illuminated by the sun. The hands holding the tunic .

Helena and Apasia

So when Aspasia told him about the bet and in turn showed him her own buttocks, he could no longer think of anything but Helena’s ass. Of course you voted for it. In fact, he fell in love with her, so much so that when he returned to the city he told his younger brother what had happened. The younger brother went to the outskirts of town as soon as he could to see the girls. It turns out that he fell in love with the younger sister, even long before he was lucky enough to see her bare buttocks.

Venus Callipyge Books on amazon
Venus Callipyge Books on amazon

So it was that when the boys’ father, a wealthy gentleman, tried to make his sons marry women of his position, he was unable to persuade them. At last he brought the sisters from the country, with his father’s permission, and married them to his children.

When Helena and Apasia were married they decided to build a temple in honor of Aphrodite and they called the image of the goddess Aphrodite Callipyge, perhaps because they believed that an intervention by the goddess led them to show themselves and thus find love.

Legend extracted from Archelaus of Chersonesus in his iambic verses

Goddess of the Beautiful Buttocks
Goddess of the Beautiful Buttocks

Archeological Museum of Naples

The oldest piece known to date is a copy of a Hellenistic original from the 3rd century BC, found in Rome. It was exhibited in the Farnese Palace, from where it was transferred with the rest of the collection to Naples, in 1802. It was then considered “dangerously erotic”, perhaps because it was partly covered and not completely naked like the Venus de Medici, being included , along with other pieces of this type, in the so-called Segreto Cabinet or «Cabinet of obscene objects»

Venus Callipyge on Cabinet of Obscene Objects

In 1836, César Famin thought so of the statue in the Secret Cabinet of the Museum:

The statue located in a reserved room, where the curious only enter under the supervision of a guardian; but not even this precaution has prevented the rounded shapes that earned the goddess the name Callipyge from being covered with a dark tint, betraying the profane kisses that fanatic admirers print there every day. We ourselves learned of a young German tourist, prisoner of a mad passion for this voluptuous marble. The commiseration his mental state inspired drove away any idea of ridicule

Later Copies of Venus Callipyge

A marble copy of Jean-Jacques Clérion (1686) was sent to the Palace of Versailles. Another was made by François Barois during his stay at the French Academy in Rome (1683-1686). It was also taken to Versailles and, from there, to Marly-le-Roi, in 1695, where Jean Thierry added more “clothes” so as not to offend the increasingly prudish sentiments of the time. There it remained until the French Revolution, being later transferred to the Jardin des Tuileries.

Venus Callipyge Books on amazon

August II the Strong commissioned another copy, made by Pierre de l’Estache in Rome (722-1723) for the Großer Garten in Dresden; It was destroyed in 1945.

Venus Callipyge Painting

Jacques Francois Lefevre (Bayeux 1755-1830 Paris) – Greek Callipyges – Oil on canvas – 60.5 x 48.5 cm.

Price realized EUR 49,500 in  Christies 2014

 

Aphrodite Callipyge on the World

Grand Cascade in Peterhof Palace – Russia

Aphrodite Callipyge on Peterhof Palace - Russia
Aphrodite Callipyge on Peterhof Palace – Russia

Tuileries Garden – Paris – France

Aphrodite Callipyge on Tuileries Garden
Aphrodite Callipyge on Tuileries Garden

Yusupov Palace – Saint Petersburg – Russia

Aphrodite Callipyge Yusupov Palace - Saint Petersburg - Russia
Aphrodite Callipyge Yusupov Palace

Related Post & References: Goddess of the Beautiful Buttocks

 

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