About this object

Statue of a young naked male, identified as the god Dionysus. Youthful representations of the god were very popular from the late classical period and there are many surviving statues. The Ince statue is different in that the Bacchus has his left hip outward, he is thus supported on his left leg with a tree trunk which is ornamented with grapes and spiralling vines. It cannot be identified as a Bacchus with absolute certainty because he is missing any attributes. The long hair could be easily attributed to Apollo. The restoration kept the head turning to its side and giving the statue an aloofness. There is a broken patch on the left hip and this may indicate that the strut was originally on the left.
The torso is ancient and was joined with the modern addition of the lower legs, ams, strust and base The restorations at the knees, elbows and hips and would require significant tecnical skills in joining such a big modern piece with the ancient torso and having to rethink scale and planes.
Blundell was aware of the restoration and mentioned in a letter to Townley that he bought the statue in pieces. He An illustration of the same statue in the Vetera Monumenta Matthaeiorum as a complete statue may be a fiction or may have been fabricated to increase the appeal to potential collectors.
Formerly Mattei collection, from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Art
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Materials
    Marble
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date collected
    1789
  • Measurements
    1270 mm x 470 mm
  • Note
    Curator's note: observed by Dr Elizabeth Bartman that the statue that the lower restoration is from reused marble, the folds at the base were from a female statue which was draped (September 2014 ), the piece was probably used upside down. The restorer may have also used the excess marble of the female draped figure in other restorations. Appears in NML photograph displayed in the Pantheon.
    Ashmole compared the statue with a parallel in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek and Bartman with a statue in Woburn Abbey, although she marks that Ince Bacchus has the reverse pose to those statues with the left him leaning outwards, Bartman believes the restored legs to be too thick and the head small while the absence of drillwork on the grapes and ivy leaves makes them look really flat. According to Bartman the face has a similar blandness.
    Ashmole was tempted to attribute the statue to the circle of Praxiteles because of its classicism and the vocabulary of nudity but the small size of the statue suggests that it came from a private rather than a public context.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); Ciriaco Mattei (Previous owner); Joseph William Col Sir Weld (Previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • A Catalogue of the Ancient Marbles at Ince Blundell Hall

    Ashmole, Bernard

    Author: Ashmole, Bernard
    Publisher: Clarendon Press
    Date: 1929
    Description: An illustrated catalogue of the ancient sculptures collected by Henry Blundell and formerly at Ince Blundell Hall.

  • An Account of the Statues, Busts, Bass Relieves, Cinerary Urns, and other ancient marbles, and paintings at Ince. Collected by H.B.

    Blundell, Henry

    Author: Blundell, Henry
    Publisher:
    Date: 1803
    Description:

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Michaelis, A

    Author: Michaelis, A
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Date: 1882
    Description:

  • The Ince Blundell collection of classical sculpture Volume III-The ideal sculpture

    Bartman, Elizabeth

    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2017
    Description:

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Ciriaco Mattei

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1614
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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