Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 25 items Explore
  • 35 items
  • 25 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 89 items
  • 3,453 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 42 items
  • 11,033 items Explore
  • 209 items Explore
  • 1,235 items Explore
  • 8,512 items Explore
  • 5,051 items Explore
  • 72 items Explore
  • 137 items Explore
  • 10,626 items Explore
  • 13,625 items Explore
  • 4,621 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 5 items
  • 153 items Explore
  • 2,021 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,761 items Explore
  • 24 items Explore
  • 440 items Explore
  • 19,197 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,903 items Explore
  • 1,113 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 4,709 items Explore
  • 456 items Explore
  • 29 items
  • 920 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 8 items
  • 19,189 items Explore
  • 788 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 73 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 800 items
  • 25 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 319 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 44 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 145 items
  • 2 items
  • 7 items
  • 121 items Explore
  • 119 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,021 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 788 items
  • 95 items
  • 27 items
  • 7 items
  • 27,304 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,836 items Explore
  • 1,529 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 158 items Explore
  • 9,696 items Explore
  • 9,686 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 39 items
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 5,145 items Explore
  • 6,104 items Explore
  • 4,230 items Explore
  • 1,513 items Explore
  • 929 items Explore
  • 3,493 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 312 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,424 items Explore
  • 20 items Explore
  • 354 items Explore
  • 797 items Explore
  • 1,131 items Explore
  • 510 items Explore
  • 917 items Explore
  • 1,138 items
  • 89 items
  • 125 items Explore
  • 6,953 items Explore
  • 170 items
  • 310 items
  • 7 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 27 items
  • 61 items
  • 300 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,923 items Explore
  • 1,563 items Explore
  • 82 items
  • 43 items
  • 19,439 items Explore
  • 1,215 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 1,484 items Explore
  • 32 items
  • 1 items
  • 132 items Explore
  • 24 items
  • 40 items
  • 20 items
  • 252 items
  • 314 items
  • 846 items Explore
  • 1,897 items
  • 350 items Explore
  • 2,426 items
  • 2,525 items
  • 6 items
  • 3 items
  • 3 items
  • 4,390 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 34,052 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,295 items Explore
  • 274 items Explore
  • 8,069 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 25 items
  • 724 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 65 items
  • 161 items
  • 52 items
  • 21,673 items Explore
  • 916 items
  • 18 items
  • 22,104 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,328 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,051 items Explore
  • 59 items
  • 499 items
  • 3,293 items Explore
  • 174 items
  • 453 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 21 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 76 items
  • 281 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 6 items
  • 128 items
  • 295 items
  • 736 items
  • 878 items
  • 1 items
  • 369 items Explore
  • 273 items Explore
  • 11,395 items Explore
  • 760 items Explore
  • 6,036 items Explore
  • 10 items
  • 6,995 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 5,325 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,732 items Explore
  • 9,200 items Explore
  • 7,706 items Explore
  • 201 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 994 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 4,241 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 1,096 items Explore
  • 224 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,494 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 696 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 134 items
  • 4,296 items Explore
  • 13,494 items Explore
  • 3,130 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 8 items
  • 9,312 items Explore
  • 37 items
  • 2 items
  • 21,319 items Explore
  • 131 items
  • 38 items
  • 13,159 items Explore
  • 3,316 items Explore
  • 2,144 items Explore
  • 44 items
  • 41,232 items Explore
  • 637 items Explore
  • 415 items
  • 23,284 items Explore
  • 218 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 20 items
  • 30 items
  • 254 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 13,118 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 10,261 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 14 items
  • 25 items
  • 4,541 items Explore
  • 918 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 15 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 220 items
  • 702 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 2,285 items Explore
  • 1,661 items Explore
  • 15 items
  • 1,931 items Explore
  • 151 items
  • 84 items
  • 772 items Explore
  • 3,248 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 17 items
  • 12 items
  • 10,646 items Explore
  • 22,923 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,374 items
  • 180 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 92 items
  • 13,081 items Explore
  • 3,570 items Explore
  • 2,646 items Explore
  • 4,773 items Explore
  • 22 items
  • 45 items
  • 1 items
  • 6,901 items Explore
  • 4,792 items Explore
  • 271 items Explore
  • 2,300 items Explore
  • 2,711 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1,866 items Explore
  • 60 items
  • 223 items Explore
  • 448 items Explore
  • 6,022 items Explore
  • 8,810 items Explore
  • 1,849 items Explore
  • 5,808 items Explore
  • 3,344 items Explore
  • 11,068 items Explore
  • 86 items
  • 11 items
  • 1,639 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 5 items
  • 1 items
  • 2,661 items Explore
  • 620 items Explore
  • 62 items
  • 17 items
  • 151 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 87 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 464 items
  • 996 items
  • 3,604 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,406 items Explore
  • 48 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 42 items
  • 3 items
  • 13,701 items Explore
  • 1,165 items Explore
  • 92 items
  • 10,564 items Explore
  • 1,006 items Explore
  • 1,926 items
  • 6,041 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,945 items Explore
  • 1,417 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 9,585 items Explore
  • 16,255 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,670 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 58 items
  • 5,684 items Explore
  • 8,787 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 25 items
  • 2 items
  • 1 items
  • 59 items
  • 3 items
  • 7,379 items Explore
  • 402 items Explore
  • 13 items
  • 4 items
  • 6 items
  • 4 items
  • 103 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 5 items
  • 480 items
  • 181 items Explore
  • 8,382 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 23,755 items Explore
  • 7,350 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 26 items
  • 4,222 items Explore
  • 465 items
  • 326 items Explore
  • 12,686 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 20 items
  • 7 items
  • 4 items
  • 315 items Explore
  • 435 items
  • 184 items
  • 3,697 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,228 items Explore
  • 2,494 items Explore
  • 732 items Explore
  • 36 items
  • 1,148 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 71,469 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,065 items Explore
  • 2,845 items Explore
  • 28 items
  • 3,622 items Explore
  • 1,831 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 17,175 items Explore
  • 5,504 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 633 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 465 items
  • 39 items
  • 76 items
  • 29 items
  • 335 items
  • 3 items
  • 41 items
  • 1,175 items Explore
  • 109 items
  • 805 items
  • 17 items
  • 10,854 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 13 items
  • 1,566 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 217 items
  • 16,809 items Explore
  • 79 items
  • 17 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 10 items
  • 6 items
  • 324 items
  • 2 items
  • 628 items Explore
  • 1,594 items Explore
  • 1,034 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 261 items

Select a time period

Or choose a specific year

Clear all filters

Mercury

attributed to John Nost I (Mechelen c.1660 – London 1710-1713)

Category

Art / Sculpture

Date

1703

Materials

Lead and bronze

Measurements

1940 mm (Height)

Place of origin

London

Order this image

Collection

Dyrham, Gloucestershire (Accredited Museum)

NT 454563

Caption

Lead statue of Mercury, the messenger god and patron of skill, eloquence and commerce, and so appealing for a government and colonial administrator such as William Blathwayt. Believed made in London by John Nost in around 1700 when he was active supplying garden sculpture for William III and other courtiers, such as a similar Mercury made for Melbourne Hall, Derbyshire, between 1704-1710. The statue is based on the famous bronze figures by Giambologna, who created four versions from 1563.

Summary

Lead statue of Mercury attributed to John Nost I (d.1710), 1703, after Giambologna (Giovanni Bologna 1524-1608). Mercury stands naked, apart from a winged helmet on his head and a piece of fabric tied around his waist which covers his genitals. He stands poised on his left leg upon a small dome, his right leg extended behind him as if in flight. His right arm is raised above his head and his face is turned upwards towards his hand. A feathered wing can be seen on each ankle. In his left hand he holds a caduceus' a winged staff with two entwined snakes, a symbolic object usually included in representations of Mercury. Remnants of gold leaf indicate that the statue was originally gilded in full, now painted grey. The statue was added to the West pediment of Dyrham Park by William Blathwayt (?1649-1717) in 1703.

Full description

This statue is of Mercury, the Roman messenger god and patron of learning, eloquence and commerce. A Latin motto mounted beneath the sculpture reads His Utere Mecum, which, loosely translated means ‘if you know better, tell me, if not, follow me’. Mercury holds a caduceus, his wand, which symbolises peace through the representation of two calmed fighting snakes. Mercury is depicted in flight, though other versions of this sculpture make this more explicit with his lower foot held on a column of air. The raised hand is reaching towards Jupiter, his father, the supreme God. This statue of Mercury is understood to be the original version, installed in 1703. William Blathwayt wrote to his cousin and agent [?] Watkins, on 20 April 1703 “I have a Mercury for ye Front of ye House which will come by land” (D1799/E243) and 14 September 1703, builder and mason Philip West paid '2 days and half a man for setting ye Merkury upon ye west front 3s 9p' (D1799/A110). The statue is clearly identifiable in Johannes Kip's engraving of Dyrham Park in 1712. It was probably made by the sculptor John van Nost in London. Nost ran a sculpture yard in Haymarket, London, and was noted for his lead garden statuary. He was a principal supplier to William III at Hampton Court Palace, including designing a fountain with Mercury at the top that was never made. Nost held an auction of his stock in 1712 (just before his death later that year) which included a statue of Mercury – perhaps the one intended for Hampton Court – with an opening price of £1. 15s 0d. A similar statue of Mercury was made by Nost for Melbourne Hall, Derbyshire, between 1704-1710. The statue was set in a fountain designed under the direction of Henry Wise for Thomas Coke. The statue of Mercury is based on the famous bronze statue by Giambologna (1529-1608); also known as Jean Boulogne or Giovanni Bologna – an Italianised Flemish sculptor. Giambologna created four versions of Mercury from 1563, each slightly different. In 1565 Duke Cosimo de’Medici commissioned a bronze statue as a diplomatic gift to Maximilian II, the Holy Roman Emperor. A version of 1580 was installed in a fountain at the Villa Medici, Rome – now in Florence. This fountain was illustrated in a print by Giovanni Franceso Venturini (Italian, active ca. 1650–1700) in 1691, and may have been known by William Blathwayt given his interest in architectural prints of Rome. The statue at Dyrham is made of lead with a bronze caduceus. It was made from a mould and probably contains an iron armature to hold the relatively malleable lead together. Traces of buff paint can be found on the hemispherical base, winged helmet, and ankle wings that suggest the statue was originally partially or fully gilded. A similar partially gilded Mercury statue was made in 1753 for Blair Castle by John Cheere (who took over Nost’s business and his statuary moulds).

Provenance

Put in place on the west side of the roof of Dyrham Park by William Blathwayt (?1649-1717) during his extensive remodeling of the house between 1692 and 1704. Features included in the transfer of Dyrham Park to The National Trust by the National Land Fund in 1958.

Credit line

National Trust Collections (Dyrham Park, The Blathwayt Collection. Acquired by the Ministry of Works via the National Land Fund in 1956, and transferred to the National Trust)

Makers and roles

attributed to John Nost I (Mechelen c.1660 – London 1710-1713), sculptor after Giambologna (Douai 1529 - Florence 1608), sculptor

References

National Trust (Great Britain), Dyrham Park., 1981, p. 31

View more details