Bacchus by Jacopo Sansovino

WAG 5095


The drawing is very close to an engraved print by Marco Alvise Pitteri, which is inscribed as drawn by Campiglia, and showing a statue of Bacchus carved by the Italian Renaissance sculptor Jacopo Sansovino (1486-1570) in about 1514, which was then in the Uffizi Palace in Florence, and considered one of the great sculptures of the High Renaissance. By 1770 there was a plaster cast of Sansovino's Bacchus in the Duke of Richmond's Gallery in Whitehall, London, which Cipriani visited when in England. There also seems to have been a cast of the sculpture in the Royal Academy collections, which British artists such as JMW Turner drew in about 1791. This is one of the artworks presented by the Liverpool Royal Institution. Liverpool’s economic development grew directly from Britain’s involvement with transatlantic slavery: the kidnapping, enslavement and forced migration of people from West Africa to the Americas and many to the Caribbean. Many members of the Royal Institution made their fortunes directly through the trade or indirectly through the wider economy. This wealth was largely how they were able to bring rare art and treasures, such as this, to the city.