Metamorphosis pp 241-255 | Cite as

The Image Made Flesh: A Photographic Re-Reading of the Pygmalian Myth

  • Kelly Dennis
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 81)


While Plato was describing the imminent dangers of art because of its mimetic remove from the Idea, men were attempting to copulate with the sculpture of the Knidian Aphrodite, so enamored were they of her derrière, ideally depicted and displayed in an open rotunda.1 The Knidian Aphrodite (Figure 1) derived her notoriety not only for being the first depiction of the female nude in Greek art, but for the reaction she elicited from viewers: her derrière is said by Pliny to have borne the seminal stains of her male viewers’ lust,2 testimony both to the success of her mimetic remove and to the dangers that Plato identified are inherent in that success.


Sexual Pleasure Artistic Creation Realist Painter Female Nudity Rhetorical Tradition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 7.
    Martin Robertson, A Shorter History of Greek Art ( Cambridge: University Press, 1991 ), pp. 140–141.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    Cited in J. J. Pollitt, Art and Experience in Classical Greece ( Cambridge: University Press, 1972 ), p. 157.Google Scholar
  3. 24.
    See McCauley’s thorough discussion of Braquehais’ œuvre (1994, pp. 149–232, especially, p. 175).Google Scholar
  4. 25.
    Paul De Man, Allegories of Reading ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979 ), p. 184.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly Dennis
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

Personalised recommendations