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Venus at the Bath

Lawrence MacDonald (Gask, Tayside 1799 - Rome 1878)

Category

Art / Sculpture

Date

1856 (signed and dated)

Materials

Carrara marble

Measurements

1595 x 572 mm; 470 mm (Diameter)

Place of origin

Rome

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Collection

Mount Stewart, County Down (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Mount Stewart, County Down, Northern Ireland, National Trust

NT 1221033.1

Summary

Carrara marble sculpture, Venus at the Bath by Lawrence MacDonald (Gask, Tayside 1799 - Rome 1878), signed and dated L. Macdonald, Fecit Romae, 1856. Carrara marble standing figure of a classical nude female beside a draped urn. This and the Bacchante at the Bath (NT 1221034.1) appear to be replicas or variants of statues that Macdonald had originally carved for other patrons: the Bacchante, or the Bacchante weaving her Hair that he had made for Lord Ward in 1849, and the Venus, that he had made for the Hon. A.D. Willoughby (later 22nd Lord Willoughby de Eresby) in 1853 (and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1854), and that is now (by descent) at Grimsthorpe Castle. Despite his high reputation in Edinburgh and London, MacDonald returned to Rome in September 1832, where he worked for the rest of his career. After the Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen, died in 1844, Lawrence took over his studio in the Palazzo Barberini with his brother John MacDonald, who worked as an assistant, succeeded later by his son Alexander. He regularly sent work to the Academy exhibitions in both Edinburgh and London. Many British visitors to Rome, including the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1872, as well as Americans came to his studio and commissioned works, both portrait busts and ideal subjects.

Provenance

Acquired by Frederick Vane, 4th Marquess of Londonderry (1805 -1872) Gifted to the National Trust from Lady Mairi Bury(1921-2009), 1976

Marks and inscriptions

On the base, by the urn: L. MACDONALD. FECIT / ROMAE. 1856

Makers and roles

Lawrence MacDonald (Gask, Tayside 1799 - Rome 1878), sculptor

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