Bacchus rescuing Ino from Phryxus

2006af2904 jpg l

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Acquired in 1853 (the spelunker thinks)

artist
Unknown
attributions_note
bibliography
Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1853. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 40. Machell Cox, E., Victoria & Albert Museum Catalogue of Engraved Gems. London, Typescript, 1935, Part 2, Section 1, p. 173. The Beazley Archive (online), Gems, The Poniatowski Collection database, Ref.T703 Catalogue des Pièrres Gravées Antiques de S.A. le Prince Stanislas Poniatowski, 1830-33, IV.310. Prendeville, James, Explanatory Catalogue of the Proof-Impressions of the Antique Gems possessed by the Late Prince Poniatowski and now in the possession of John Tyrrell, Esq., 1841, 703
collection_code
SCP
credit
date_end
1830-12-31
date_start
1820-01-01
date_text
1820-30 (made)
descriptive_line
Intaglio depicting Bacchus rescuing Ino from Phryxus, oval chalcedony in gold filigree mount; Italy, 1820-30
dimensions
Height: 44 mm, Width: 26 mm
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
gallery
Sculpture, room 111
historical_context_note
Prince Stanislas Poniatowski (1754-1833) was a wealthy collector who commissioned about 2500 engraved gems and encouraged the belief that they were ancient. Many even bore the signatures of the most celebrated Greek and Roman engravers. His collection was sold in 1839 following his death, and later the scandal of its true background emerged and many gems subsequently changed hands for very low prices and were widely dispersed. The Poniatowski affair is often credited with causing a loss of confidence in the market for engraved gems, and the subsequent decline in the art from the mid nineteenth century onwards. Nowadays, ironically, the Poniatowski collection is of increasing interest as most of the gems were the work of a small group of neo-classical gem-engravers in Rome, including most probably the great Luigi Pichler (1773-1854),and have come to be regarded as important works of gem-engraving. Claudia Wagner of the Beazley archive is working on assembling online as complete a list as possible of all the Poniatowski gems, including images, and this is available to consult as a Work in Progress.
historical_significance
history_note
This gem, in its original gold Poniatowski mount, is one of eighteen intaglios owned by the Museum which come from the Poniatowski collection. These were all included in the Poniatowski sale catalogue of 1839 (Christie's sale 29 April-21 May, 1839, Catalogue of the ...collection of antique gems of the Prince Poniatowski, this gem lot 1397), but purchased privately and withdrawn from the sale. They were then in the collection of John Tyrrell who purchased around 1200 in total. They subsequently passed into the collection of Lord Monson. In 1853 these gems were sold by the executors of Lord Monson, along with over two hundred similar Poniatowski gems (Christie's sale 18 May, 1853, Gems from the Poniatowski Collection, this gem lot 56). Eleven were bought at that stage by the Museum, and seven were subsequently given in 1865 by Cockle Lucas. Historical significance: Engraved gemstones of all dates were widely collected in Italy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Many were brought back by British Grand Tourists, and important collections were formed.
id
78968
label
last_checked
2014-08-30T00:43:06.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-30T00:43:06.000Z
latitude
41.903111
location
Sculpture, room 111, case 9, shelf 3
longitude
12.49576
marks
Greek inscription Apollonides
materials
gold, enamel, chalcedony, gemstone, microquartz
materials_techniques
Engraved gemstone
museum_number
941-1853
museum_number_token
9411853
object_number
O102621
object_type
Intaglio
on_display
1
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
Horizontal oval intaglio. White translucent chalcedony. On the right Phryxus, naked except for a cloak and carrying a broad sword and a scabbard, pursues to the left the figures of Bacchus and Ino. Bacchus at the left is naked except for an animal skin cloak, and carries a thyrsis in his left hand. He holds Ino, who is naked and carrying a baby, bearing her up above the ground. A hound runs at his feet. Set in a gold filigree mount with line of black enamel.
place
Rome
primary_image_id
2006AF2904
production_note
Spuriously attributed to Apollonides Attribution note: White, translucent chalcedony. Mounted in gold with black enamel border
production_type
public_access_description
The art of engraving gemstones can be traced back to ancient Greece in the 8th century BC and earlier. Techniques passed down to the Egyptians and then to the Romans. There were major revivals of interest in engraved gems in Europe during the Byantine era, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and again in the 18th and 19th centuries. At each stage cameos and intaglios, these skillful carvings on a minute scale, were much prized and collected, sometimes as symbols of power mounted in jewelled settings, sometimes as small objects for private devotion or enjoyment. This gem is in the neo-classical style popular in the late 1700s and early 1800s, when taste in the arts echoed the subject matter and style of the Greek and Roman masters. Thousands of gems were made in this style in Italy and brought back by British Grand Tourists, who went there to visit the newly-discovered classical antiquities and archaeological sites. It once belonged to the collection of Prince Stanislas Poniatowski (1754-1833), a wealthy collector who commissioned about 2500 engraved gems and encouraged the belief that they were ancient. Many even bore the signatures of the most celebrated Greek and Roman engravers. The collection was sold in 1839 following Poniatowski's death, and later the scandal of its true background emerged and many gems subsequently changed hands for very low prices and were widely dispersed. The Poniatowski affair is often credited with causing a loss of confidence in the market for engraved gems, and the subsequent decline in the art from the mid nineteenth century onwards. Nowadays, ironically, the Poniatowski collection is of increasing interest as most of the gems were the work of a small group of neo-classical gem-engravers in Rome, including most probably the great Luigi Pichler (1773-1854),and have come to be regarded as important works of gem-engraving. The engravers of the Poniatowski gems took their subjects from classical literature, especially the works of Homer, Virgil and Ovid. In Greek mythology Ino, queen of Thebes, nursed her nephew, the infant god Bacchus. She later plotted to kill her stepson Phrixus to secure her own childrens' future. Here the engraver has imagined a scene where a furious Phrixus pursues Ino and her child, who are caught up and protected by Bacchus.
related_museum_numbers
rights
3
shape
site_code
VA
slug
bacchus-rescuing-ino-from-phryxus-intaglio-unknown
sys_updated
2013-08-22T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
gem engraving
title
Bacchus rescuing Ino from Phryxus
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
1830
year_start
1820