Carved in the marble of Ancient Rome, the decoration of a great Scottish home for two centuries, Aphrodite Hamilton, last seen in New York more than seventy years ago, will go up for auction by Sotheby’s on December 7 (in London). A journey through time and space worth £3 million
She was last seen in her full beauty in 1949 in New York. Since then traces of it have been lost, so much so that the community has left it to be missing. Today, after seventy years, the “Aphrodite Hamilton”, one of the most important Roman statues in private hands, dating back to the 1st or 2nd century AD, is ready to see the light again. The Roman marble figure of “Capitoline Aphrodite” with an estimate of £2 to 3 million will be put up for sale on 7 December 2021.
Considered one of the most beautiful “perfect” ancient sculptures in Scotland, it is named after its original owner, the Duke of Hamilton, who bought it in Rome in 1776 from the Neoclassical painter and Scottish art dealer Gavin Hamilton, who had worked for the nobles. There was no kinship relationship with. The same merchant wrote, “The great Venus that I had is now on its way to Scotland. The Duke of Hamilton fell in love from that moment, and immediately secured it.”, The statue soon became one of the main attractions of the Hamilton Residence, the country estate of the Duke of Hamilton, one of the most famous residences in Scotland and one of the grandest houses in Britain at the time. Aphrodite was registered as present in the “Grand Staircase” of the Palazzo in the years between 1850 and 1870, and is one of four ancient stones that decorated the palace halls. Of the other three, one is in the American Museum, one was auctioned off in New York in the 1970s, and the last still remains with an undisclosed location.
Sotheby’s antiquities expert, Florent Heintz, said: “The Duke of Hamilton is said to have fallen in love with Aphrodite when he first saw her, about 250 years ago. Under her spell the moment I laid eyes on her , just as I was with a subtle blend of earthly beauty and divine glory. I hope the audience shares the same experience.”
Aphrodite Hamilton boasts an extraordinary size, 187 cm in height, and is the only “intact” statue of the goddess offered at auction in the past 20 years. A true triumph of Roman art, this sculpture is a fitting tribute to Aphrodite herself, the ancient goddess of love and the embodiment of female beauty. The sculpture derives from a Praxitelian model of Aphrodite Cnidia (4th century BC), now lost, and depicts the goddess standing with her weight on her left foot, her head turned to the left, her hair wavy. are done and tied in the center, and his ears pierced. For earrings.
The figure of Aphrodite has fascinated artists for millennia in art history and sculptures sculpted by sculptors from ancient Greece and Rome represent the pinnacle of the classical ideal. However, enthusiastic British collectors who visited Italy in the 18th century could hardly own one. Only two other sculptures of equal importance were brought to Great Britain: the Barberini Venus (sold as “Venus Jenkins” at auction in London in 2002) and “Venus Townley”, now in the British Museum.
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