Statue of Athena

59.148.10

About this object

Statue of Athena, with a small diagonal aegis. From the Villa Mattei, previously believed to come from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.
The statue was acquired by Henry Blundell during his first Grand Tour in 1777 and believed to have been acquired from the Villa Mattei although it was not included in the publication of the collection by Ridolfino Venuti. Bartman suggests that the statue may have been slipped in by Jenkins in order to enhance the sale. Some of the restorations are undisguised: the head, neck and right arm from the shoulder, the back of the drapery with a tip of the ponytail and the bent left elbow. It is unknown when these restorations were done. There are also other minor repairs such as on the outer edges of the drapery and two toes of the left foot and part of the sandal. In addition the snake decorated lower edge of the aegis has been recut and has no border at its lower end. The lower end of the aegis is instead mixed up with the drapery folds of the mantle. The head was probably modelled from the Ince Athena.
The statue derives from the Athena Vescovali type, at least 30 versions of this type are known. The pose and the drapery are complex and forceful with a column like effect. The left arm is bent on the hip. The head in many of the Vescovali versions faces left and is titled back, opposite to the current position of this statue. There is a rich swirl of drapery on the upper body, the mantle is angular around the shoulder and arm. Bartman notes that the folds of the upper body are rather flat and in contrast with the chiaroscuro effect of the skirt drapery. The diagonal position of the aegis suggests that it was added almost as an afterthought. The statue is conventionally attributed to a range of masters associated with the late 4th century BC, one of which is Praxiteles.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Art
  • Culture
    Roman
  • 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
    1777
  • Measurements
  • Note
    Formerly on display in the Greenhouse at Ince Blundell Hall. Bartman does not believe that the statue compares well with the Athena on the Mantinea base by Praxiteles. Instead she proposes that the Ince statue is post classical, either Greek or Roman.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, 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:

  • Notes on a New Edition of Michaelis: Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Vermeule, C; von Bothmer, D

    Author: Vermeule, C; von Bothmer, D
    Publisher:
    Date: 1959-04
    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: 1789
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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