Object Details

Seated Venus

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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Church Street / A283
Town:Petworth
Parish:Petworth
Council:Chichester District Council
County:West Sussex
Postcode:GU28
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Inside building
Access is:Public
Location note:Petworth House, The North Gallery, Central Corridor
In the AZ book:West Sussex
Page:61
Grid reference:N9
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Name : Richard Williams
     Role:Sculptor

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General Information

Commissioned by: George O’Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837)
Construction period:c.1823
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:The National Trust (Petworth House)
Description:A naked seated Venus, left knee raised with right foot underneath.
Iconographical description:Venus: The Roman goddess of love and beauty, but originally a vegetation goddess and patroness of gardens and vineyards. Later, under Greek influence, she was equated with Aphrodite and assumed many of her aspects. Her cult originated from Ardea and Lavinium in Latium. Venus is the daughter of Jupiter, and some of her lovers include Mars and Vulcan, modeled on the affairs of Aphrodite. Venus' importance rose, and that of her cult, through the influence of several Roman political leaders. The dictator Sulla made her his patroness, and both Julius Caesar and the emperor Augustus named her the ancestor of their (Julian) family: the head of 'gens Julia' was Aeneas, son of Venus and the mortal Anchises. Ceasar introduced the cult of Venus Genetrix, the goddess of motherhood and marriage, and built a temple for her in 46 BC. She was also honored in the temple of Mars Ultor. The last great temple of Venus was built by the emperor Hadrianus near the Colosseum in 135 AD.
Signatures:Carved catalogue number on base '104'

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Classification

Categories:Sculptural, Free Standing
Object type1:Statue
Object type2:Sculpture
Subject type1:Figurative
     Subject subtype1:Seated
Subject type2:Mythological
     Subject subtype1:Seated

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Object Parts

Part 1:Plinth
     Material:Wood (faux red veined marble)
     Height (cm):96
     Width (cm):75
     Depth (cm):60
Part 2:Statue
     Material:White marble
     Height (cm):80
     Width (cm):73
     Depth (cm):58

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Structural
     Condition 1: Broken or missing parts
     More details:Large piece broken out of the grey base underneath the marble at the left hand corner.
Date of on-site inspection:27/06/2008

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History

History:The North Gallery is one of the very few top-lit sculpture and picture galleries to survive from the early nineteenth century. It was extensively restored in 1991-3. The South corridor is the earliest part of the gallery, which was built between 1754 and 1763 to house the major part of the 2nd. Earl’s collection of antiques statuary. The top-lit Central Corridor was added to the gallery by the 3rd. Earl in 1824-5. At the same time work began on the final extension to the gallery, the Square Bay and the whole was finished in October 1827. The works were supervised by Thomas Upton, the Petworth Clerk of Works, and executed by his building yard. Advice was sought from at least three artists; the painter Thomas Philips and the sculptors Sir Francis Chantrey and John Edward Carew. The galleries are presently painted a dark red, restored to this colour during the 1991-3 restorations. The galleries had been this colour in 1873. Red (with green, the most traditional colour for picture galleries) was felt by Ruskin to accentuate the contours of sculpture, and it was known to have been used in ancient Rome as a foil to sculpture. The present sculpture arrangement (devised in 1991-3) was designed to restore, as far as possible that conceived by the 3rd. Earl. It was taken from a unique ground plan of the 3rd. Earl’s statue deployment drawn up in 1835 by H.W. Philips. Apart from the Flaxman, the Square Bay has become a gallery of works by the Irish sculptor J.E. Carew, many of which were placed here in 1835.

The 3rd Earl bought Nolleken's (1737-1823) plaster 'Seated Venus' at his posthumous studio sale in 1823, and commissioned this marble copy of it by Rossi's assistant, Richard Williams, indicating his regard for this distinguished sculptor of a previous generation. .
('Petworth House')

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'Petworth House'
     Type:Book
     Author:Rowell, Christopher
     Publisher:The National Trust.


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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