THE INSPIRATION OF CLEOMENES
© 1995 Donald R Ricker
(46"x94" oil on hardboard)
cf Digital study for finished painting and 3D Cleomenes set (VRML)
The Venus de Milos is so called from its having been in the possession of the princes of that name in Rome when it attracted scholarly attention hundreds of years ago. An inscription on the base records it to be the work of Cleomenes, an Athenian sculptor of 200 B.C., but some doubt its authenticity. There is a story that the artist was employed by public authority to make a statue exhibiting the perfection of female beauty, and to aid him in his task the most perfect forms the city could supply were furnished him for models.
It is this which Thomson alludes to in his "Summer": "So stands the statue that enchants the world; / So bending tries to veil the matchless boast, / The mingled beauties of exulting Greece."
Byron also alludes to this statue. Speaking of the Florence Museum, he says: "There, too, the goddess loves in stone, and fills / The air around with beauty ... / Blood, pulse, and breast confirm the Dardan shepherd's prize."
The Inspiration of Cleomenes was exhibited January 1998 at Toast Gallery in Anchorage AK and November 2000 at D St Café in Anchorage
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