Saturday, September 18, 2021

Ancient Sculpture at Wilton House

From Apollo Magazine:

 The Earl of Pembroke turned to large-scale collecting relatively late in life, after a political career which straddled the 1688 revolution and saw him serving as Lord High Admiral and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He already had a reputation for the scale and quality of his coin collection, but after his retirement from public life, perhaps not long before 1720, he started to accumulate sculptures for Wilton House. There appear to have been regular new arrivals at Wilton over the next 10 years. Later sources, drawing on the earl’s own account, give the impression of a lucid collecting strategy based on rational criteria: only curiosities illustrative of history and literature; no duplicates, except for classical gods shown with differing iconographies or funerary altars and urns providing specific historical information; nothing except token examples from Egypt, Etruria, or south Italy; and as far as possible only works of the ‘best Ages’ (chiefly Greece in the fifth and fourth centuries BC, presumably). (Read more.)


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