after Jacopo Sansovino (Florence 1486 – Venice 1570)
Painted plaster, Bacchus, after Jacopo Sansovino (1486-1570), Italian (Florentine) School, c.1757. A plaster cast of Jacopo Sansovino's marble statue of Bacchus (commissioned 1510) in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence. Bacchus, nude, with vines in his hair, raises a drinking cup with his proper left hand and clutches a bunch of grapes with his proper right. A child faun crouches behind his proper right leg, and playfully holds a bunch of grapes to his head.
Bacchus is one of a set of Florentine casts acquired by Nathaniel Curzon (1726-1804) from the sculptor Joseph Wilton (1722-1803). A surviving bill from Wilton shows that in August 1757 Curzon was billed for 'a cast in Plaister' of 'Bacchus of Sansovino' at the cost of £10.10s.0d (MS, Kedleston Archive). The cast of Bacchus was part of a consignment of eight casts from Florence which included the Idolino (NT 109005), 'Venus washing [her feet] (NT 109014), the Dancing Faun (NT 109003 or 109009) and the Venus de' Medici (NT 109004 or 109010) and three others which have been discarded or lost. Unlike Matthew Brettingham, who acquired the actual moulds for some of the Roman statuary he cast for Kedleston, Wilton probably had the casts made through an agency in Florence. Wilton and Brettingham had lived together in Rome, training and making casts for the Grand Tour market, before Wilton then settled in Florence in 1751, returning to London four years later in 1755. The statue is listed in the 1758, 1769 and 1861 'Catalogue[s] of the pictures, statues, &c. at Kedleston' as being displayed on the Great Staircase. Alice Rylance-Watson March 2019
Purchased by Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Baron Scarsdale (1726-1804) from Joseph Wilton (1722-1803) who acquired them in Florence; identifiable in a receipted bill of August 1757 as 'Do [i.e. 'To Value of a cast in plaister'] of Bacchus of Sansovino' priced '10.10.0' [i.e. ten pounds and ten shillings]; identifiable in the 'Catalogue of the pictures, statues, &c. at Kedleston' of 1758 (Great Staircase, p. 16), of 1769 (Great Staircase, p. 22), and 1861 (Great Staircase p. 25); purchased with part of the contents of Kedleston Hall with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund in 1986 when the house and park were given to the National Trust by Francis Curzon, 3rd Viscount Scarsdale (1924-2000).
Kedleston Hall, The Scarsdale Collection (acquired with the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and transferred to The National Trust in 1987)
Makers and roles
after Jacopo Sansovino (Florence 1486 – Venice 1570) , sculptor Italian (Florentine) School, caster Joseph Wilton, RA (London 1722 - Wanstead 1803), dealer
Kenworthy-Browne 1993: John Kenworthy-Browne, ‘Designing around the statues. Matthew Brettingham’s casts at Kedleston’, Apollo, April 1993, pp.248-252, p. 251