About this object

A life size statue of the Roman goddess Diana or the Greek goddess of hunting, Artemis. The goddess has her quiver hung at the back of her left arm. Her right hand is bent with the fingers open and may have holded her bow. She wears the chiton and an unusual thick tunic on top of it with the thick skin of a deer, known as nebris around her waist. Diana was often depicted wearing the nebris in classical Greek pottery but the combination of chiton, tunic and nebris is unusual and unique and so is the lack of the breasts. The hair is also unusual with a knot at the crown that sweeps up and folds back over but not ending in anything. At the back the hair comes together into a large bun with a weathered surface and drillwork similar to the knot above the forehead. The head may be ancient but it was recut, the tousled hair reminiscent of the style of the classicising style of Canova. The open toe boots of her feet are sculpted in great detail and are common in statues of Bacchus or in examples of Roman Emperors. The statue was restored in the 18th century AD by Carlo Albacini (c.1735-1813), an important sculptor patronised by Grant Tourists visiting Rome in the late 18th century. The sculpture was made using 127 pieces of marble rather than only having the head being restored in the 18th centuty, as originally believed by Henry Blundell.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Art
  • Culture
    Roman
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    Roman; 18th Century restorations
  • 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
    1786
  • Measurements
    1775 mm x 630 mm x 495 mm x 393.5 kg
  • Note
    Blundell believed that the face of Diana had traces of gilting and did not recognise any of the restorations. He believed the piece to be ancient. What Blundell saw as gilding was more the result of yellow wax used to disguise the different colour of the marble pieces used to piece the statue together.Some similarites with statues of Diana in the Villa Borghese and at Petworth House in gestures and pose but the statue does not have any direct ancient parallels. Bartman noted that Blundell may have been drawn to the statue of Diana because of his outdoor pursuits and her connection with gardens, common in the French court.
  • Related people
    Carlo Albacini (Previous owner); Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); John Thorpe (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:

  • Henry Blundell's Sculpture Collection at Ince Hall

    Vaughan, Gerard

    Author: Vaughan, Gerard
    Publisher: Tate Gallery, Liverpool; National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside
    Date: 1989
    Description:

  • Piecing as Paragone. Carlo Albacini's Diana at Ince

    Bartman, E

    Author: Bartman, E
    Publisher: Getty Publications
    Date: 2003
    Description: A book chapter within 'History of Restoration of Ancient Stone Sculptures'.

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

    Bartman, Elizabeth

    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2017
    Description: This book investigates the important antiquities collection formed by Henry Blundell of Ince Blundell Hall, near Liverpool, in the late eighteenth century. Consisting of more than 500 ancient marbles - the UK's largest collection of Roman sculptures after that of the British Museum - the collection was assembled primarily in Italy during Blundell's various 'Grant Tour' visits. As ancient statues were the preeminent souvenir of the Grand Tour, Blundell has strong competition from other collectors, British nobility and European aristocrats, monarchs, and the Pope. His statues represent a typical cross section of sculptures that would have decorated ancient Roman houses, villas, public spaces and even tombs, although their precise origins are largely unknown. Most are likely to have come from Rome and at least one was found at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
  • John Thorpe

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Carlo Albacini

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