godsandheroes2Unknown artist  |  Female Torso  |  1st century BC  |  Roman copy after the Aphrodite of Cnidus by Praxiteles. The second in an image series highlighting the great Portland Art Museum exhibition: Gods And Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. This torso is one of countless Roman variations on the form of the Aphrodite of Cnidus by Praxiteles, one of the most renowned marble sculptures of ancient Greece. The great artist and painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres shipped it from Rome to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. For Ingres, it epitomized female beauty and inspired many of his depictions of sensual female nudes. The torso was long located in the courtyard of the École, and when students faced a competitive exam, they would caress her hips for luck. (Excerpt from the Portland Art Museum exhibition description)