Object Details

Celadon and Amelia

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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, South 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 : John Charles Felix Rossi
     Role:Sculptor

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General Information

Commissioned by: George O’Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837)
Construction period:c.1821
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:The National Trust (Petworth House)
Description:The naked figure of Celadon looks skyward and holds up his left hand in an attempt to 'hold back' the lightening bolt. His right arm is wrapped around a cowering, semi-naked, Amelia to the front in a protective gesture. The head of Amelia gazes towards the lightening with an expression of fear on her face
Iconographical description:The subject is taken from Thomson’s 'Seasons' and depicts the moment in Summer when Celadon and Amelia, the ‘matchless pair’ of lovers, are overtaken by a thunderstorm (Amelia is about to be struck dead by a lightning bolt). They were on the point of entering a cottage, and this may explain why this position (recorded in 1835 two years before the 3rd Earl’s death) was chosen in front of the false door.
Signatures:Carved catalogue number on base '105'.
Inscription:Title carved into side of integral base at left:

CELADON AND AMELIA

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Classification

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

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Object Parts

Part 1:Plinth
     Material:Wood (faux red veined marble)
     Height (cm):85
     Width (cm):116
     Depth (cm):89
Part 2:Statue
     Material:White marble
     Height (cm):200
     Width (cm):87
     Depth (cm):114

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
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 group is undated, but was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1821. The subject is taken from Thomson’s Seasons and depicts the moment in Summer when Celadon and Amelia, the ‘matchless pair’ of lovers, are overtaken by a thunderstorm (Amelia is about to be struck dead by a lightning bolt). They were on the point of entering a cottage, and this may explain why this position (recorded in 1835 two years before the 3rd Earl’s death) was chosen in front of the false door. The unusually dramatic concept of the group sets it apart from most contemporary British sculpture.

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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




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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