This statuette, carved from a single piece of white marble, shows the figure of Aphrodite standing in a rigid frontal pose. It belongs to a group of similar statuettes, dated to the second and third centuries CE, which are modeled on the cult statue of the goddess in her temple in Aphrodisias, Caria. Two bands of relief carving are still intact on the figure’s robe: these show Selene (the moon goddess) and Helios (the sun god) in the top register, and the Three Graces flanked by large cornucopiae in the second register. Based on comparable examples, the damaged lower registers likely showed scenes of putti and Aphrodite riding a sea creature. While possible interpretations of the various iconographical elements are disputed, scholars tend to agree that they express the goddess’s far-reaching powers from the heavens to the seas, with particular emphasis on fecundity. Small statuettes such as these may have been owned by traveling or emigré members of the cult of Aphrodite of Aphrodisias, as most surviving examples were found far from the cult’s origins in Asia Minor.Resource: The Classical Collection, ed. Gloria Ferrari, Christina M. Nielsen, and Kelly Olson, Chicago: The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, 1998, p. 145–46.