Description The artist's preoccupation with antiquity earned him his nickname. His patrons, the Gonzaga family of Mantua, sent him to Rome to study ancient sculpture so that he would be able to seek out antiquities for purchase, discern forgeries, and produce small versions in bronze of famous statues. The last are usually creative interpretations, which he called his "antiquities." This fine Venus may be loosely based on the same unrestored torso of a Roman copy after a Greek original as "Venus Pudica." Typical of Antico's style are the highly finished surface, dark patina, touches of gilding in the hair, and silver inlay for the eyes, a detail found in ancient bronzes. This Venus represents Spiritual Love, expressed through her modest pose, her lamp of celestial fire, and her crown of Virtue. Around 1520, Antico was creating pieces for his major patron in Mantua, the marchioness Isabella d'Este, whose refined tastes are here exemplified.
|3/24/1964||Examination||examined for condition|
|3/29/1968||Treatment||cleaned; loss compensation; coated|
|10/23/1991||Examination||examined for condition|
|7/30/2012||Examination||Technical study; x-ray fluorescence|
- The Allure of Bronze. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
- I tesori del collezionismo dei Gonzaga. Museo di Palazzo Ducale, Mantova. 2008-2009.
- Antico: The Golden Age of Renaissance Bronzes. National Gallery of Art, Washington; The Frick Collection, New York. 2011-2012.
Provenance Eduard Georg Simon, Berlin (1864-1929); Arnold Seligmann, New York, perhaps through the Berlin office [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1931 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1931
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