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Unknown Venus, A.D. 175 - 200, Marble with polychromyObject: H: 97.2 x W: 33 x D: 20.3 cm (38 1/4 x 13 x 8 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California

Praxiteles, born about 390 B.C. probably to the Athenian Cephisodotus the Elder, was one of the most important Greek sculptors working in both bronze and marble.His Aphrodite of Cnidos (known as the Cnidia) from c. 350 B.C., inspired later work, including the Venus de Milo (Melian Aphrodite). The Cnidia was the first full scale nude female cult statue, believed to have been modeled on his lover, the courtesan Phryne. He also may have sculpted a marble Hermes and baby Dionysus, although the dating of it suggests otherwise. He or his sons may have created the bronze Cleveland Apollo Sauroktonos. If so, it may be the only surviving statue of Praxiteles.

Praxiteles was a younger contemporary of Scopas. His sons, Cephisodotus the Younger and Timarchus, were also bronze sculptors.


  • Praxiteles: The Cleveland Apollo, by Michael Bennett; GILES: 2013.
  • The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, edited by Michael Gagarin; Oxford University Press: 2010.


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