HOLME CARDWELL, AFTER THE ANTIQUE
1813/1815 - 1895
VENUS REMOVING HER SANDAL
signed and dated: HOLME CARDWELL Fct / ROME 1860
Overall the condition of the marble is very good, with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. The proper left index finger and the proper right little finger are reattached. There is light brownish staining in areas, notably to the base and the drapery at the back. Small chips along the bottom edge. Very minor natural veining, notably at the proper right buttock. Minor chip to the bunch of drapery at the back.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
The motif of Venus, or Aphrodite, untying her sandal, developed from a Greek original from the Hellenistic period. Several antique interpretations are known, such as a small bronze, probably from Syria, in the Louvre Museum (inv. no. Br 4417) and a marble statuette in the British Museum (inv. no. 2000,0522.1). Sculptors in the age of Neoclassicism also took up the theme, particularly in the mid-19th century, and several versions of the present model are known from different sculptors, including Ivan Petrovich Vitali (1852) and Johann Ludwig von Hofer (1856).
Holme Cardwell has imbued the present marble with his skillful Neoclassicism. Compare in particular the face, and the discarded sandal, to his monumental Diana, sold in these rooms, 13 December 2017 (£357,000). Holme Cardwell was a Manchester native, but spent much of his working life in Rome, where he was part of an active milieu of British expatriate artists.
I. Roscoe, E. Hardy and M. G. Sullivan, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain, 1660-1851, London, 2009, p. 194; 'Holme Cardwell', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib2_1202169359, accessed 05 June 2019]