==== ====Looking for the Best Gift this Valentines for your Loved Ones Visit this Blog to find a listing ofdifferent categories:http://2012valentinesgifts.blogspot.com==== ====It is believed that the Aphrodite of Cnidus, created by Greek artist Praxiteles in the 4th CenturyBC, was the first statue to feature a life sized nude female. The statue depicted Aphroditepreparing for her virginity restoring bath. A drapery is being dropped by the left hand and the otherhand covers her genitals. The statue was a masterpiece in its realistic construction and daringsexuality.The story goes that the residents of Kos commissioned an Aphrodite statue from the artist, whocreated fully clothed and nude versions of the piece. Kos chose the clothed version but itsexistence isn't well supported in records and, like many works from ancient Greece, did notsurvive. The nude Aphrodite was bought by the residents of Knidos who put it in an open templethat allowed spectators to view it as it was meant to be seen- from all sides.The bold, proud and erotic stance of Aphrodite made it the most famous work done by Praxitelesand made it somewhat of a tourist attraction. The Knidians rejected an offer by Nicomedes I towipe clean their debts in exchange for the statue. A stain on the marble on the back of one of thestatue's thighs led to the tale that it was so realistic a man try to fornicate with it.The Aphrodite from Knidos did not survive, probably moved to Constantinople then lost in the fires.Numerous copies were made and from those we gather our evidence of what the original lookedlike. Perhaps one of the great tragedies in art history was the number of Greek masterpieces suchas this that were lost or destroyed due to invasions and wars. Artists throughout the ages havecreated works inspired by the original Aphrodite of Cnidus.The woman believed to have been the model for the original statue is somewhat famous in herown right. The courtesan Phryne charged her customers based on how much she liked them. Sheimposed such a hefty fee on the King of Lydia that he had to put an extra tax on his subjects tocover it but gave herself for free to Diogenes of Sinope, a philosopher whose mind she admired.Renowned for her beauty, she was put on trial when she was accused of being profane to theEleusinian mysteries. Defended by one of her lovers, she was acquitted when she (or he, by someaccounts) bore her breasts to the jury.Praxiteles wasn't the only artist she inspired. She modeled for Apelles for his painting AphroditeAnadyomene- the concept of which he developed upon seeing her strip and walk into the sea infront of a crowd during a festival for Poseidon. Long after her death, Jean-Leon Gerome based hispainting Phrynedevant l'Areopage on the beautiful courtesean. In literature, she inspired theCharles Baudelaire poems La beaute and Lesbos as well as Rainer Maria Rilke's Die Flamingos.The modern Greek writer and poet Dimitris Varos wrote an entire eponymous book on thecourtesan.