Fragment of Torso of Venus


About this object

Fragment of a naked female torso from a statue of the Roman goddess Venus (the Greek goddess Aphrodite). There is a large patch on the figure's left thigh, probably from the left arm that came down to cover the pubis. The two breaking points on the left thigh indicate where the fingers came down. The torso represented the Venus of the Capitoline statue. There is evidence of drapery at the back of the left thigh, probably representing the drapery on the jar of the Capitoline type. The torso was from a life size female standing frontally but with her head turned to the side and covering her pubis and breasts with her arms. She is fleshy and volumous and it is most likely the torso represented in a drawing by Pier Leone Ghezzi ( Albertina Museum, Vienna ) showing his previous owner Baron Phillip von Stostch in his studio, surrounded by male connoisseurs and admiring the female torso.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    2nd century AD about
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London: Wandsworth: Roehampton
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    500 mm x 390 mm x 260 mm x 101 kg
  • Note
    Blundell had acquired the torso for a high price and he was very much aware of its resemblance to the Venus Capitoline version which was on display by 1738. Stosch was a keen collector of antiquities but had to sell the torso to pay his debts, He sold to it to William Ponsoby (Lord Bessborough). It is believed that the statue was found near the Pantheon in Rome.
  • Related people
    2nd Earl of Bessborough ( Previous owner); 3rd Earl of Bessborough ( Previous owner); Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Philipp von Stosch ( Previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • 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.

  • A Selection from the Ince Blundell Hall Marbles

    Publisher: Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
    Date: 1961

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Michaelis, A

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

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

    Vermeule, C; von Bothmer, D

    Author: Vermeule, C; von Bothmer, D
    Date: 1959-04

  • Owning the Past

    Guilding, Ruth

    Author: Guilding, Ruth
    Publisher: Yale University Press
    Date: 2014

  • 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.

  • The Two Sided Lake

    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2016


  • Sale of Lord Bessborough's collection

    Start date: 1801-04-07
    End date: 1801-04-07
    Description: Sale of the Bessborough family's collection of classical sculpture housed in Parkstead House, Roehampton, in April 1804. Although the sale was conducted by Christie's, the sale took place at Roehampton.


Previous owners

  • Joseph William Weld

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

    Owned from: 1801-04-07
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
  • 3rd Earl of Bessborough

    Owned from: 1793
    How acquired: Inherited
    Owned until: 1801-04-07
    Disposal method: Sold
  • 2nd Earl of Bessborough

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1793
    Disposal method: Bequest
  • Philipp von Stosch

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
Have 11 place tagsPage load time: 484 ms