Scala/Art Resource, NY

Arms uplifted to work wool, this gentle figure is depicted on an early fifth-century B.C.E. Greek kylix, or drinking bowl. Smaller winged creatures, called Erotes, hover around the woman, carrying lovers’ tokens—suggesting to some scholars that the women is the goddess Aphrodite. Such images provided inspiration for later Roman artists, who reworked them in very different contexts, as in the Roman painting shown at the beginning of this article.