DRAWINGS AND ENGRAVINGS OF PLASTER CASTS
-Drawing of bust from plaster cast catalogue: Carl Rost, Abgüsse antiker moderner Statuen, Figuren, Büsten, Basreliefs (...) in der Rostischen Kunsthandlung zu Leipzig, 1786 (illus. in 1794 edition, pl. 33). For a complete facsimile of the plates see C. Schreiter, Antike um jeden Preis. Gipsabgüsse und Kopien antiker Plastik am Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts, Berlin/Boston, 2014, pp. 670-690.
-Charles le Carpentier (1744-1822), "Tête de Jupiter antique," graphite on paper, 53.7 by 40 cm., first quarter of the 19th century, Musée d'art, histoire et archéologie, Évreux, inv. no. (Dessins d'Eure et d'ailleurs: collection des dessins du XIXème siècle au musée: Musée de l'Ancien Evêché, Évreux, 2001, pp. 42-43 (http://www.culture.gouv.fr/Wave/image/joconde/0042/m070304_0000605_p.jpg)
PAINTINGS OF PLASTER CASTS
-Spanish School, 19th Century (Sotheby's, London, The Collection of Gianni Versace. Villa Fontanelle, Moltrasio, March 18th, 2009, no. 436)
-Giorgio de Chirico, Il sogno trasformato, oil on canvas, 1908
-Giorgio de Chirico, The Transformed Dream, 1913, The City Art Museum, St. Louis
-Giorgio de Chirico, The Philosopher’s Promenade, 1914, Collection of the Vicomte Charles de Noailles, Paris
-Giorgio de Chirico, Trofeo con Giove, oil on canvas, 1929/ 1930 (http://www.engramma.it/eOS2/image/104/104_Santoro_dechirico_12_13.jpg)
-Giorgio de Chirico, Composizione con testa di Giove, oil on canvas, 1942, Musée d'art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (http://www.fondazionedechirico.org/wp-content/uploads/Inv.-371-e1319718458381.jpg)
-Angus McBean, Darling, We Must Be in Battersea Park! (1948 Christmas card with self-portrait as Roman bust), double exposure, bromide print, National Portrait Gallery, London, inv. no. NPG P935 (T. Pepper, ed., Angus McBean: Portraits, exh. cat., National Portrait Gallery, London, 2006, p. 160, pl. 85; http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portraitLarge/mw57959/)
-Angus McBean, Portrait of Jane Wyman, 1949
Paradoxically, the present head is one of the most widely known and distributed images of an ancient bearded god in the modern Western world, yet the existence and location of the original could not be ascertained until very recently.
The head was first recorded as having been used as a model for restorations by the acclaimed restorer Vincenzo Pacetti (1746-1820) in Rome, the same sculptor who restored the Barberini Faun and the Hope Dionysos. It is likely that he himself was responsible for the head's highly sensitive and careful restorations, and his workshop for the bust and socle. He may even have been the sole owner of the bust, allowing him to reproduce it in any medium and as many times as needed without having to pay royalties to a private owner, as was customary at the time.
Pacetti used the head as a model to restore a colossal headless statue of Asklepios erected in 1786 in the Villa Borghese gardens, which is still to be seen there today towering over the lake. A few years earlier, he probably also made a very precise copy of the present head for a life-size seated statue of a Zeus, formerly in the Borghese Collection and now in Warsaw. Pacetti’s workshop can probably be associated with the numerous plaster casts and other marble copies of the present head and bust in existence.
Drawings and paintings also attested to the fame of the head throughout the late 18th and 19th century, but its whereabouts remained unknown until it was photographed as a prop by Angus McBean in London in 1948 and 1949.
The present head is a Roman Imperial copy of a late Hellenistic bronze statue of the god, probably seated. The outlined lower lip is a direct quotation of the inlaid copper lips which would have been used on the bronze original. No other ancient Roman copies are known.
With regard to scale, hairstyle, and overall style, the so-called Giove della Valle (H. Stuart Jones, A catalogue of the ancient sculptures preserved in the public collections of Rome, vol. I: The Sculptures of the Museo Capitolino, Oxford, 1912, p. 120, no. 47, pl. 31: http://www.araldodeluca.com/root/archivio/scheda.asp?img=4121) is an apt comparison. The upswept, centrally parted hair above the forehead is reminiscent of portraits of Alexander the Great (cf. especially the Azara-type: R.R.R. Smith, Hellenistic Royal Portraits, Oxford and New York, 1988, p. 155, no. 1, pl. 1); therefore an early Hellenistic date seems appropriate for the original.
The lack of other copies forbids identification of the subject (Zeus or Asklepios?). Comparable statues, especially the Marbury Zeus in Malibu (The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection, Los Angeles, 2002, pp. 150f.), make it likely that the present head belonged to a seated statue.
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