Bacchus and cupid, a wall plaque, after Bertel Thorwaldsen.
A highly detailed, with deep relief, sculptured wall plaque, from the collection of Lord Norton, Hams Hall, Warwickshire, (Cupid and Bacchus and Cupid recieved by Anacreon)
Bertel Thorwaldsen made the original sculptured plaques over the course of twenty-three years: Cupid and Bacchus (original plaster model probably Rome 1810), Cupid received by Anacreon (original plaster model, Rome 1823);
The latter relief is the only one of the two compositions in which the concave semi-circle was part of the original design, whereas the other compositions were originally conceived with square backgrounds.
These Reliefs are taken from Greek mythology, the first two subjects with Anacreon and Bacchus are based on the songs of the famous Ionian poet, Anacreon, who wrote a love song about opening his home to Cupid on a stormy night, after which Cupid pierces Anacreon's heart with his arrow.
Anacreon also wrote about drinking and the relief with Bacchus, the god of wine, shows him offering the young Cupid a bowl of wine, an allusion to the relationship between wine and love.
Thorvaldsen left Rome in 1838 to set up a workshop in his native Denmark.
The Thorvaldsen Museum was established in 1839 and houses his personal art collection and the contents of his workshop, including versions of his marbles, plaster casts, and original plaster models. Plaster models of all four reliefs are preserved there. These elegant and sensuous compositions reflect the artist’s desire to transform the austere, white marble of Carrara into a series of calm and rhythmic forms, which combined form these graceful and harmonious compositions.
Both plaques available from sculptured arts, and they make a grand pair.
51 x 70 cm.