Thursday 12 June 2014

Pietro Tacca

I might as well make it a bronze day. This statue of Antinous (c. 1630) attributed to the Italian sculptor Pietro Tacca went on display at The Getty Villa yesterday. The Villa is a recreation of an ancient Roman country house, full of treasures from early antiquity, through ancient Greece to the Roman Empire. So why display a 17th-century bronze there? it was based on the Belvedere Antinous, an ancient Roman marble statue which was itself based on a Greek original of the 4th-century B.C. (CLICK).


At 13/6/14, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Antinous was the lover of Emperor Hadrian who ruled 117AD to 138AD. His busts were recovered from many parts of the Roman Empire. They have a portrait consistency suggesting they were based on the same person - presumably Antinous himself. The face is very distinctively attractive.

This bronze looks more like it was based on the "Apollo Belvedere". The Roman copy of the 300BC Greek original is apparently dated to Hadrian's reign - but Antinous does not normally get mentioned with it.

At 13/6/14, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, Anon.

I'm sure you're right, having looked at the link you kindly sent me and also the Wikipedia entry for Antinous, which has a good selection of photos, both busts and full length statues:

Antinous was made a god and he and Apollo are both considered exemplars of male beauty. So I can see where the confusion between the two arose.

I took my misinformation from ArtDaily, which posted the Getty Museum press release. So much for the reliability of the Getty Museum!

At 14/6/14, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess is that Pietro Tacca did indeed call his bronze "Antinous Belvedere". Not as a mistake - but as a nod to those two lines of male beauty. It is possible that he understood that the "Apollo Belvedere" copy was made during Hadrian's reign.

The Getty Museum press release still comes across as inaccurate though.

At 14/6/14, Blogger Unknown said...

Could be.

The Getty press release is a puzzle. For instance, why is the statue merely "attributed" to Pietro Tacca when there is royal French provenance going back to the year of its casting?

And the ancient Greek original. That's a copy too, in one of the Vatican museums....


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