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Statuette - Actaeon devoured by his hounds
  • Actaeon devoured by his hounds
    Fanelli, Francesco
  • Enlarge image

Actaeon devoured by his hounds

  • Object:

    Statuette

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)
    Italy (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1630-1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fanelli, Francesco (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:

    A.119-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This bronze statuette is by the workshop of Francesco Fanelli and represents Actaeon devoured by his hounds.

While on a hunt, the prince Actaeon stumbled upon Diana, the goddess of hunting, bathing in the forest. As a punishment, Diana turned him into a stag and he was killed by his own hounds.

Franceso Fanelli (1577- ca. 1641) was first documented in Genoa in 1608, where, until about 1631, he produced religious works in marble, silver, ivory and bronze. By 1635, he was working at the English court. Although he described himself 'sculptor to the King of Great Britain', it is unclear whether this title was officially conferred. The V&A owns versions of several small bronzes listed in an inventory of Whitehall Palace in 1639 as by 'ffrancisco the one-eyed Italian'. George Vertue, an eighteenth century art critic, stated that Fanelli 'livd and dyd in England'; he is last documented in 1641 and believed to have died soon after.

Physical description

Bronze statuette of Actaeon devoured by his hounds. Actaeon, with a stag's head, is seated on the ground struggling with two dogs, one of which holds his right ear while the other springs at him barking from the left.

Place of Origin

England (made)
Italy (possibly, made)

Date

ca. 1630-1650 (made)

Artist/maker

Fanelli, Francesco (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Bronze

Dimensions

Width: 9 cm, Depth: 7.5 cm, Height: 8 cm

Object history note

Bequeathed by George Salting

Historical context note

While on a hunt, the prince Actaeon stumbled upon Diana, the goddess of hunting, bathing in the forest. As a punishment, Diana turned him into a stag and he was killed by his own hounds.

Descriptive line

Statuette, Actaeon devoured by his hounds, bronze, workshop of Francesco Fanelli (1577-after 1662), England (London), ca. 1630-1650

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Penny, Nicholas. Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, Vol III, Oxford, 1992, p. 62
'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 9
Victoria and Albert Museum, A Guide to the Salting Collection, London, 1926, p. 16

Materials

Bronze

Subjects depicted

Dog (animal); Hound

Categories

Sculpture; Myths & Legends

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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