Sunday, March 9, 2008

First half 19th Century Colossal bust of Antonia Augusta, Mother of the Emperor Claudius

First half 19th Century, Colossal
Bust of Antonia Augusta
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inscribed: FREDERICO/BARONI DE SAYE & SELE/IN SUMMA PARITER FELICITATE/ET IN ACERBISSIMO DOLORE/SEMPER VERE FRATRI/ E. T./ A.D. 1864
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White marble, on a grey, red and cream marble base (in three parts) (4) Bust: 153cm., 60" Din. (Base: 215cm., 84" in. not the one presented on picture)
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Former Provenance: Frederik Twistleton, later Fiennes 16th Lord Saye (1799-1887). The bust is known to have been at Broughton Castle since 1864. The 4th century A.D. colossal bust, now in the Museo Nazionale Rome, is now thought to be an idealised portrait of Antonia Augusta, the mother of the Emperor Claudius rather than Juno as it was originally named. It is interesting to note that a plaster version of this bust is represented in Goethe's house in Weimar where it is documented that Goethe first saw the Ancient Antique bust in Rome on his Italian journeys in the late 1780's. A number of sculptors, followers of Canova and Bartolini, were working on after the Antiquities marbles in Italy. These include Giovanni Battista Comolli who sculpted for much of his life works on a monumental scale. The happiness (felicitate) and sorrow (dolore) inscribed on the plinth can be explained by the family history of the original owner. Frederik Twistleton, Lord Saye and Sele and his brother Edward (E.T.), both lost their wives when young. Frederik married in 1827, Emily, daughter of Lord Powerscourt who died in 1837 in childbirth, leaving him with seven children under ten. Edward Twistleton married in 1852 at the age of forty-four Ellen Dwight, daughter of Edward Dwight of Boston, who died childless in 1862, aged of thirty-one. Related literature: F. Haskell & N. Penny, Taste and the Antique, Yale U. P., 1981
... Wed, 05 Jul 00 10:30 AM - Sale: L00519 Location: London, New Bond Street
PROVENANCE: Private collection (SDK)