About this object

Headless young female statue, inscribed 'Anchirroe'. The statue represents a type that is known in more than twenty versions but none of them preserves the original head, arms or attributes. The draped female tiptoes forward in a graceful movement that is most certainly a restoration. The figure faces the front and has the weight on her left leg, bent at the knee. The extended right leg is a restoration and adds movement to the statue but does result to the arched foot overhanging from the plinth. It is most certain that the right lower leg and the foot were bare because the woman raises the hem of her skirt grasping the drapery in her right hand. The female wears a chiton and an himation. The sleeveless chiton is cut with a deep armhole and the himation is hiked up on her right leg and folded back off her left shoulder. On the left hand side there are swallowtail folds on the edge of the chiton's long overfold.
The Greek inscription Anchyrrhoe at the front of the plinth, inspired the 18th restoration of the statue as holding a water jug and adorned with a lotus flower. The inscription was forgotten because according to Henry Blundell it was covered by mortar and it was rediscovered in the 18th century. The authenticity of the inscription was doubted because of the unorthodox spelling. 16th century restorations of nymphs were extremely popular.

The modern head, formerly associated with the statue, has the accession number WAG 8777.

The statue was once at the Villa d'Este at Tivoli, where it decorated the Fontanile della Civetta, one of the famous fountains at the Villa. It was purchased in 1790 by Lisanroni perhaps with the involvement of Pacetti. Hadrian Villa's provenance is speculative. The head that was originally removed was added by Lisandroni and his partner Antonio d'Este, restorations also include the arms the right leg below the knee and the foot, the outer edges of the drapery. The front of the plinth has been broken and rejoined.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy
  • Date made
    1st Century AD - 2nd century AD
  • Materials
  • 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
  • Measurements
    1735 mm x 780 mm x 700 mm x 551 kg
  • Note
    According to Elizabeth Bartman the inscription may be ancient as there are other examples of unorthodox spellings from other statues. However it is uncertain which one of the nymphs this may be. Blundell and his contemporaries believed that she was the Egyptian Anchirroe, the daughter of Danaus, mentioned by Apollodorus. 50 such statues of maidens which adorned the portico of the temple of Apollo Palatinus were reproduced in the Villa de Papiri in Herculenaeum but according to Bartman the Ince example has little resemblance to them. Bartman proposed that the statue may relate to the citation by Pausanias of the Anchirroe who had a cult in Megalopolis. Bartman noted that similar types have been found in nymphaea and can thus easily be identified as nymphs by this type of representation. In the Roman Imperial time the figural type of a muse was no longer fashionable. She proposes that the statue may represent an Andromeda rescued by Perseus as there were many such examples for Roman sculptors to adapt from and use for a variety of subjects. Thorpe and Visconti mentioned other versions of the same statue in Stockholm, Florence and Dresden but very dissimilar to the Ince version. Bartman rated the statue to be of a high quality. The head added by Lissandroni was removed and is on display at the Walker Art Gallery.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Francesco d'Este ( Previous owner); Ippolito d'Este ( Previous owner); Ferdinando Lisandroni ( Associated Person); Vincenzo Pacetti ( Previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

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Previous owners

  • Joseph William 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
  • Vincenzo Pacetti

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Francesco d'Este

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Ippolito d'Este

    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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