ITALIAN, LATE 18TH CENTURY
AFTER THE ANTIQUE
Lucretia as the Sleeping Ariadne
alabaster, on an alabaster base
43 by 61cm., 16⅞ by 24in. overall
Overall the condition of the alabaster is very good, with some dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age, and dust in the crevices. There are several small chips and minor surface abrasions, including to the bed, the toes, and more extensively to the edges and corners of the base. The base is composed in sections and stable original joints are slightly visible. The upper section of the base has slightly irregular joints with fill, which could represent open veins or possibly restored breaks.
"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."
By repute Stowe House, Buckinghamshire
Inventory, 1893, ‘A white marble reclining figure’ in the Entrance Hall;
Inventory, 1949, 'A carved alabaster reclining female figure on rectangular shaped plinth 24” wide' in the Inner Hall
The model was purchased by Pope Julius II in 1512 and installed in the Belvedere Courtyard, where it remains today in the Vatican Museums (inv. no. 548). Long identified as Cleopatra, the model was known to represent Ariadne by the beginning of the 19th century. The present alabaster is typical of the Grand Tour taste for expensive souvenirs of the seminal treasures of Rome. Interestingly, the model has here been reinterpreted as Lucretia, with the addition of a dagger and chest wound.
F. Haskell and N. Penny, Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500-1900, New Haven and London, 1981, pp. 184-187, no. 24