Antique statues are rarely preserved completely – we often see them missing heads or limbs. So, this particular absence comes by a surprise. That something is missing becomes evident once we follow Venus’ gaze and see her arm position. What exactly is absent is harder to figure out (I thought it was a musical instrument). What kind of an absence do you see?

Spoiler alert: here’s the original description of Venus of Capua from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Italy: “Aphrodite partially disrobed, her arms raised to hold a polished shield in which to gaze at her reflection (missing).”

Antique absence

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