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Venus as Spiritual Love (Venus Caritas)
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Venus as Spiritual Love (Venus Caritas)


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
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.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
3/24/1964Examinationexamined for condition
3/29/1968Treatmentcleaned; loss compensation; coated
5/17/1975Treatmentother
5/17/1975Examinationtechnical study
9/11/1975Technical Reportother
12/20/1977Treatmentcleaned; coated
1/01/1987Technical Reportother
10/23/1991Examinationexamined for condition
7/30/2012ExaminationTechnical study; x-ray fluorescence
Exhibitions
  • 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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Period
1520-1523 (Renaissance)
Medium
bronze with traces of gilding and silver inlay
(Metal)
Accession Number
54.1027
Measurements
Overall H: 23 1/16 × W: 7 1/16 × D: 6 1/4 in. (58.5 × 18 × 15.8 cm); Statue: H: 18 × W: 6 × D: 3 15/16 in. (45.7 × 15.3 × 10 cm); Base: H: 4 15/16 × W: 6 1/4 × D: 6 1/4 in. (12.6 × 15.8 × 15.8 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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