Venus appearing to Aeneas

2006af2929 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. 41. The Beazley Archive (online), Gems, The Poniatowski Collection database, Ref.T1083 Machell Cox, E., Victoria & Albert Museum Catalogue of Engraved Gems. London, Typescript, 1935, Part 2, Section 1, p. 176. Catalogue des Pièrres Gravées Antiques de S.A. le Prince Stanislas Poniatowski, 1830-33, VII.7. 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, 1083
collection_code
SCP
credit
date_end
1830-12-31
date_start
1820-01-01
date_text
1820-30 (made)
descriptive_line
Intaglio depicting Venus appearing to Aeneas, oval carnelian in gold filigree mount; Italy, 1820-30
dimensions
Width: 38 mm approximate, Height: 29 mm approximate
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
gallery
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 1440), 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 216). 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
78979
label
last_checked
2014-08-30T00:43:11.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-30T00:43:11.000Z
latitude
42.502998
location
In Storage
longitude
12.57341
marks
Signed in Greek letters Myrton
materials
carnelian, gold, enamel, chalcedony, gemstone, microquartz
materials_techniques
Engraved gemstone
museum_number
949-1853
museum_number_token
9491853
object_number
O102633
object_type
Intaglio
on_display
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
Horizontal oval intaglio. Red translucent carnelian. On the right is Aeneas, wearing armour and a crested helmet, and holding a bow and arrow in his right hand He rushes forward to the left, reaching out with his arms towards the naked figure of Venus, who hovers above the ground ahead of him, recumbent in a cloud, with two doves beside her. Behind Aeneas to the right is the figure of Achates, also armed. He emerges from a wood which is suggested by two trees at left and right. Set in a gold filigree mount with a line of black enamel.
place
Italy
primary_image_id
2006AF2929
production_note
Spuriously attributed to Myrton Attribution note: Red translucent chalcedony
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. According to legend the hero Aeneas and his loyal friend Achates, fleeing fallen Troy at the end of the Trojan war, were blown ashore on the coast of Africa. His mother the goddess Venus appeared to him in disguise and explained his whereabouts to him, advising him to approach the queen of Carthage Dido for help. The scene depicted here takes place at the end of their meeting when Venus reveals her true identity to her son. As he rushes forward to reach her she leaves, summoning a mist to protect him and Achates on their journey.
related_museum_numbers
rights
3
shape
site_code
slug
venus-appearing-to-aeneas-intaglio-unknown
sys_updated
2013-08-17T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
gem engraving
title
Venus appearing to Aeneas
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
1830
year_start
1820