1889. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. More.
Phryne at the Festival of Poseidon in Eleusin.
The subject is from the Greek author Atheneus Naucratis. According to him, in the IV century BC, in Megara lived a young woman, Phryne, who was as beautiful as a Goddess. She was the model for Aphrodite of Knidos by the ancient sculptor Praxiteles, her lover, and for Aphrodite Anadyomene by the artist Apelles. Once Phryne dared to challenge the Goddess of love and came to Eleusin on the day of Poseidon Festival. The beauty came to a sea-shore, where, according to a myth, Aphrodite first appeared in Greece. When a festival procession was moving from Poseidon's Temple to the sea, Phryne stripped herself to amazement and delight of the public. Later she was charged for insulting the Gods