chapter
Praxiteles
Pages 13

His most famous work, however, was the “Knidia” (18 [pl. 28]), a NUDE statue of APHRODITE and the first in-the-round statue of a nude woman. Kos had commissioned a statue of Aphrodite from Praxiteles, who made two versions, one clothed and the other nude, both based on his mistress, the hetaira Phrynê (or Kratina, Clement, Protr. 4.48, 51; PROSTITUTES). Kos took the clothed statue, Knidos bought the nude statue and set it up in a completely open rotunda (excavated and confirmed, Love 1972:70-6). Several authors record an incident that a youth ejaculated onto the leg of the statue and stained it (Lucian, Eikones 4, Amores 15-16; Val. Max. 8.11.4; Pliny, HN 7.127 and 36.20-21; Tzetzes, Chil. 8.375; cf. the story of HEPHAESTOS and ATHENA). The statue inspired numerous copies as well as variations (SEX IN ART).