About this object

Statue of Athena. The head did not belong to the body. She wears a Corinthian helmet similar to the Ince Athena 59.148.8
The restoration was directed by the sculptor Antonio Canova. The statue has extensive recutting, the neck was shortened and is squashed onto the figure. Athena wears a peplos that reveals her feminine features. The weight of the statue is on the right straight leg with the left leg, bent at the knee and the shifting to the side. Her body is accentuated by many curves and her pose is light and fluid. The costume is not that symmetrical: there is an inverted V overfold at the hem and there is a short mantle hanging over the left shoulder , the peplos folds above the waist girdle are also assymetrical and this could be the result of extensive recutting. The aegis animates the figure and is worn across the torso, creating a diagonal line. When comparing the back and the front of the aegis there are certain differences and this indicates that the front was recut. Bartman noted that Athenas who wear the aegis diagonally are attested from the 5th century BC, the style famous from Lemnia Athena and the bronze Piraeus Athena. The large shield was not part of the original statue who had a different object to her side.The Gorgon's head on the shield is gruesome and is carved in an 18th century style, possibly by Carlo Albacini.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Art
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st Century AD - 2nd Century AD
  • 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
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
  • Note
    A diverse and complex provenance, Blundell referred to it in his Account that the statue came the Negroni collection and originally belonged to Pope Sixtus V but in an appendix by John Thorpe's to which Blundell refers to, the provenance of the head and the torso is different to the torso: the head was found in Portico Sante Croce in Rome and was bought by Bartolomeo Cavaceppi while the torso was found in a garden behind the church of Santa Susanna and was bought from Carlo Albacini. Ashmole associated the head with the Athena Gustiniani but Bartman believes that the Corinthian helmet is more of a classical 5th century feature, emphasising regularity and lack of emotion.
    Bartman compares it with Athena statue at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and considers both to be works of a Roman workshop
  • 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: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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