Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 25 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 25 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 89 items
  • 3,457 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 42 items
  • 11,029 items Explore
  • 209 items Explore
  • 1,235 items Explore
  • 8,509 items Explore
  • 5,048 items Explore
  • 72 items Explore
  • 128 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 10,580 items Explore
  • 13,624 items Explore
  • 4,621 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 5 items
  • 150 items Explore
  • 2,020 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,714 items Explore
  • 24 items Explore
  • 439 items Explore
  • 19,174 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,903 items Explore
  • 1,111 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 4,726 items Explore
  • 455 items Explore
  • 29 items
  • 920 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 8 items
  • 19,084 items Explore
  • 787 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 73 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 800 items
  • 25 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 303 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 44 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 145 items
  • 2 items
  • 7 items
  • 121 items Explore
  • 119 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,020 items Explore
  • 820 items
  • 95 items
  • 27 items
  • 7 items
  • 27,202 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,826 items Explore
  • 1,528 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 158 items Explore
  • 9,672 items Explore
  • 9,686 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 39 items
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 5,224 items Explore
  • 6,046 items Explore
  • 4,055 items Explore
  • 1,513 items Explore
  • 929 items Explore
  • 3,495 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 312 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,354 items Explore
  • 20 items Explore
  • 336 items Explore
  • 793 items Explore
  • 1,131 items Explore
  • 510 items Explore
  • 917 items Explore
  • 1,138 items
  • 89 items
  • 126 items Explore
  • 6,953 items Explore
  • 170 items
  • 310 items
  • 7 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 27 items
  • 61 items
  • 300 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,920 items Explore
  • 1,514 items Explore
  • 82 items
  • 43 items
  • 19,434 items Explore
  • 1,222 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 1,433 items Explore
  • 32 items
  • 1 items
  • 132 items Explore
  • 24 items
  • 40 items
  • 20 items
  • 252 items
  • 314 items
  • 859 items Explore
  • 1,897 items
  • 350 items Explore
  • 2,424 items
  • 2,524 items
  • 6 items
  • 3 items
  • 3 items
  • 4,390 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 34,025 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,293 items Explore
  • 274 items Explore
  • 8,066 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 25 items
  • 723 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 65 items
  • 160 items
  • 52 items
  • 21,464 items Explore
  • 915 items
  • 18 items
  • 22,047 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,331 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,051 items Explore
  • 59 items
  • 499 items
  • 3,289 items Explore
  • 174 items
  • 453 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 21 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 76 items
  • 289 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 6 items
  • 128 items
  • 295 items
  • 752 items
  • 878 items
  • 1 items
  • 369 items Explore
  • 273 items Explore
  • 11,307 items Explore
  • 760 items Explore
  • 6,022 items Explore
  • 10 items
  • 6,963 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 5,321 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,729 items Explore
  • 9,177 items Explore
  • 7,705 items Explore
  • 201 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 991 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 4,199 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 1,096 items Explore
  • 224 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,491 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 696 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 134 items
  • 3,604 items Explore
  • 13,448 items Explore
  • 2,715 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 8 items
  • 9,285 items Explore
  • 37 items
  • 2 items
  • 21,323 items Explore
  • 131 items
  • 38 items
  • 13,073 items Explore
  • 3,316 items Explore
  • 2,132 items Explore
  • 163 items
  • 41,195 items Explore
  • 639 items Explore
  • 415 items
  • 23,285 items Explore
  • 218 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 20 items
  • 30 items
  • 253 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 13,109 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 10,261 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 14 items
  • 25 items
  • 4,549 items Explore
  • 918 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 220 items
  • 702 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 2,283 items Explore
  • 1,661 items Explore
  • 15 items
  • 1,910 items Explore
  • 151 items
  • 84 items
  • 771 items Explore
  • 3,298 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 22 items
  • 12 items
  • 10,640 items Explore
  • 22,686 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 1,373 items
  • 180 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 8 items
  • 92 items
  • 13,045 items Explore
  • 3,566 items Explore
  • 2,642 items Explore
  • 4,766 items Explore
  • 23 items
  • 45 items
  • 1 items
  • 6,896 items Explore
  • 4,791 items Explore
  • 271 items Explore
  • 2,300 items Explore
  • 2,623 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1,866 items Explore
  • 60 items
  • 223 items Explore
  • 443 items Explore
  • 5,883 items Explore
  • 8,807 items Explore
  • 1,851 items Explore
  • 5,763 items Explore
  • 3,338 items Explore
  • 11,063 items Explore
  • 86 items
  • 11 items
  • 1,639 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 5 items
  • 1 items
  • 2,298 items Explore
  • 620 items Explore
  • 62 items
  • 17 items
  • 151 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 87 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 464 items
  • 996 items
  • 3,603 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,397 items Explore
  • 48 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 42 items
  • 3 items
  • 13,696 items Explore
  • 1,190 items Explore
  • 92 items
  • 10,559 items Explore
  • 1,006 items Explore
  • 1,925 items
  • 6,041 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,938 items Explore
  • 1,417 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 9,560 items Explore
  • 16,299 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,670 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 58 items
  • 5,684 items Explore
  • 8,787 items Explore
  • 47 items
  • 25 items
  • 2 items
  • 59 items
  • 3 items
  • 7,384 items Explore
  • 399 items Explore
  • 13 items
  • 4 items
  • 3 items
  • 6 items
  • 4 items
  • 103 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 5 items
  • 480 items
  • 183 items Explore
  • 8,394 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 23,516 items Explore
  • 7,350 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 26 items
  • 3,626 items Explore
  • 460 items
  • 325 items Explore
  • 12,683 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 20 items
  • 7 items
  • 4 items
  • 315 items Explore
  • 451 items
  • 184 items
  • 3,637 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,227 items Explore
  • 2,370 items Explore
  • 732 items Explore
  • 36 items
  • 1,147 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 71,315 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,064 items Explore
  • 2,843 items Explore
  • 28 items
  • 3,617 items Explore
  • 1,833 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 17,103 items Explore
  • 5,504 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 624 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 464 items
  • 39 items
  • 76 items
  • 29 items
  • 335 items
  • 3 items
  • 41 items
  • 1,175 items Explore
  • 109 items
  • 805 items
  • 30 items
  • 10,718 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 13 items
  • 1,566 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 266 items
  • 16,829 items Explore
  • 78 items
  • 17 items
  • 1 items
  • 10 items
  • 6 items
  • 324 items
  • 2 items
  • 628 items Explore
  • 1,594 items Explore
  • 1,032 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 261 items

Select a time period

Or choose a specific year

Clear all filters

Giovanna Francesca Antonia Guiseppe Zanerini, called L'a Baccelli'

attributed to Giovanni Battista (John Baptist) Locatelli (Verona 1734 - Milan 1805)

Category

Art / Sculpture

Date

1778

Materials

Plaster

Measurements

740 x 820 x 1980 mm

Place of origin

England

Order this image

Collection

Knole, Kent (Accredited Museum)

NT 130059

Caption

Giovanna Zanerini, nicknamed 'La Baccelli', was a celebrated Italian dancer who performed in Paris, when ballet was beginning to develop into an art form independent of the opera. She made her English debut in 1774 as the Rose in 'Le Ballet des Fleurs' at the King’s Theatre and it was there that she attracted the bachelor John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset. By 1779, La Baccelli had taken up residence at Knole, the Duke's ancestral home in Kent, where she was given a tower of her own. This life-size plaster statue, attributed to Giovanni Battista Locatelli, depicts a naked and elegantly coiffed Baccelli, lying prone in a seductive pose. The composition alludes to the Sleeping Hermaphrodite, an ancient marble sculpture, presumably as an intentional joke as well as a convenient Classical model. In 1789 the Duke and La Baccelli separated in 1789 and by the following year the Duke settled down to a respectable marriage with an heiress. According to an inventory of Knole in 1799, the statue of Baccelli was removed to ‘the Top of the Stairs, next [to] the Wardrobe’, where she was rechristened 'A Naked Venus’.

Summary

Plaster statue of a woman, Giovanna Francesca Antonia Guiseppe Zanerini, called 'La Baccelli' (d.1801), attributed to Giovanni Battista (John Baptist) Locatelli (1734-1805), 1778. Life size plaster statue of Baccelli, the famous dancer and mistress of John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset (1745-1799). The woman is naked and reclines seductively on a mattress which is covered with a loose sheet. She leans up on her elbows, supported by two pillows decorated with tassels at the corners. Her right leg is crossed over her left leg, and she looks to her right, a smile upon her lips, and her hair swept up with ringlets around her neck. The statue is displayed on a wooden plinth made for the 1976 exhibition at Tate Gallery.

Full description

Giovanna Francesca Antonio Guiseppe Zanerini (d.1801), known as ‘La Baccelli’, was a celebrated Italian dancer and held the position of principal ballerina at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket. Her first appearance was on 8 November 1774 in the ballet Pirhame et Thisbe and in Le ballet de fleur; she remained a featured dancer at the Opera until 1783. Baccelli was widely known to be the mistress of John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset (1745-1799), and lived with him at Knole during his bachelor years, bearing him a son, also called John Frederick Sackville, who was brought up at Knole. The third Duke commissioned a number of portraits of his mistress, perhaps the most well-known of these is the full length portrait by Thomas Gainsborough, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1782. The painting remained at Knole until 1890, when it was sold; it is now in the Tate collection (T02000), purchased in 1975. A second portrait was painted by Joshua Reynolds in 1783, a friend of the Duke's, which remains in the private collection at Knole. Gainsborough’s full length portrait depicts Baccelli as a dancer, mid movement, set within an idealised landscape setting. Reynolds’ portrait by contrast is a head and shoulders, portraying her as a woman of the stage. Baccelli is seen removing her theatrical mask and gazing over her shoulder at the viewer, her hair slightly dishevelled and trailing down her back. She is in the guise of a Bacchante, her hair dressed with a garland of leaves, about to walk into a shady woodland, her gaze suggests that the viewer follows her. While Gainsborough’s portrait celebrates Baccelli’s professional status as a celebrated ballerina, Reynolds’ portrait is a more private image of a mistress, in which her theatricality is exposed as seductive, rather than a serious occupation. The plaster statue of Baccelli was the first portrait of the ballerina to be commissioned by the third Duke; his account book for 1778 lists ‘A Naked Venus Whole Length (Plaister) - £16.0.0’ which is almost certainly this work. The sculpture has been attributed to Giovanni Battista Locatelli (1734-1805), an Italian sculptor, born in Verona but who subsequently worked in Venice where he receiving patronage from British travellers on the Grand Tour. Locatelli was in England by 1778 and exhibited a sculpture entitled ‘A Venus reclined on a couch, a model’ in the 1779 Royal Academy exhibition (number 180). Two years later in 1781 he exhibited a portrait bust of Baccelli (number 516), location now unknown. It is believed that the reclining Venus exhibited in 1779 was a model for a full size work in marble now in the collection at Stratfield Saye, which is signed by Locatelli, but if the Duke's account book is referring to the statue of Baccelli as suggested, Locatelli had already completed his plaster statue of the dancer, making it his first reclining nude statue. Rupert Gunnis attributed the plaster at Knole to Locatelli on the basis of the sculpted bust he also exhibited at the Royal Academy, and the similarities seen between the Stratfield Saye sculpture and that at Knole. The Knole statue is a highly sensualised depiction of the dancer, modelled on the famous ancient Roman marble of the Sleeping Hermaphroditus, now in the Louvre. While painted and sculpted images of a reclining nude female figure are prevalent, they predominantly represent a mythical figure, usually Venus, rather than a portrait of a contemporary figure. That the Duke of Dorset’s account book described the statue as ‘A Naked Venus’, is particularly telling of the decorum required around such an image. Indeed, once the Duke had ended relations with Baccelli and married the heiress, Arabella Diana Cope (1767-1825), the statue was removed to a discreet position within the house: the 1799 inventory of Knole places the statue ‘At the Top of the Stairs, next to the Wardrobe’, where it is described as ‘A Naked Venus, whole length, plaister’. Anna Moore (July 2018)

Provenance

Commissioned by John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset (1745-1799) in 1778. Transferred to the Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Trust for display at Knole, 1966.

Credit line

National Trust Collections (Knole, The Sackville Collection)

Makers and roles

attributed to Giovanni Battista (John Baptist) Locatelli (Verona 1734 - Milan 1805), sculptor

References

Postle, 2002: Martin Postle, Thomas Gainsborough, London, Tate Publishing, 2002, p. 53 Einberg 1976: Elizabeth Einberg, Gainsborough's 'Giovanna Baccelli', exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1976, no. 13 Sackville-West 2010: Robert Sackville-West, Inheritance: The Story of Knole and the Sackvilles, London, 2010, p. 131-2 Gunnis 1968: Rupert Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, London 1968, p. 240-1 Perry, Retford, Vibert and Lyons 2013: Gill Perry, Kate Retford, Jordan Vibert and Hannah Lyons (eds.) Placing faces The portrait and the English country house in the long eighteenth century, Manchester, 2013, pp. 116-142

View more details