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Statuette - Diana after the Bath

Diana after the Bath

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Florence (Probably, made)

  • Date:

    c. 1815-1855 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Giambologna (after)
    Unknown (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Boardroom, case CA4 , shelf 1

This terracotta figure is based on a bronze statuette by Giambologna, sculptor to the Medici Grand-Dukes of Tuscany. Giambologna's signed bronze (now in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence) is securely documented for the first time in Ferdinando de' Medici's 1584 inventory. Although originally described as a woman kneeling, the model is inspired by a famous Hellenistic sculpture of Venus and now generally known as Kneeling Venus drying herself. By adding a crescent moon to her forehead, the present figure has been transformed into Diana, the goddess of hunting and of the moon. The sculpture was bought with several other works from the Gherardini Collection in Florence in 1854 as a contemporary work by Giambologna, and later redated to around 1700. However, technical examination carried out in 1976 indicated that it was made between 1815 and 1855, demonstrating the enduring appeal of the model for collectors.

Physical description

Statuette in terracotta. The goddess is shown after bathing, kneeling on a cushion on her right knee and drying her head and left side with a towel. Above her forehead is a crescent moon. The figure is moulded in one with its shallow circular base.
Finger of left hand broken and missing

Place of Origin

Florence (Probably, made)


c. 1815-1855 (made)


Giambologna (after)
Unknown (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 26.7 cm

Object history note

Purchased in Florence from the Gherardini Collection. The statuette was ascribed in the Gherardini collection to Giovanni Bologna and was purchased as a reduced contemporary copy of a signed bronze in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, representing a Kneeling Venus, drying herself. The bronze is first securely documented in 1584 in the inventory of Ferdinando de' Medici. A terracotta model in the Museo Horne is traditionally seen as the sketch model for the bronze (see Giambologna, gli di, gli eroi, 2006, loc. cit.).

Descriptive line

Statuette, Diana after the Bath, probably Florence, about 1815-1855

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

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1854. 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. 19
Maclagan, Eric and Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture. Text. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1932, p. 148
Pope-Hennessy, John, assisted by Lightbown, Ronald. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Volume II: Text. Sixteenth to Twentieth Century. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964, pp. 476-77, cat.501
Paolozzi Strozzi, Beatrice and Zikos, Dimitrios (eds), Giambologna gli dei, gli eroi. Florence: Ministero pre i Beni e le Attività Culturali-Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Fiorentino, 2006 [exh. cat. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, 2 March - 15 June 2006], pp.199-200, cat.18 (Dimitrios Zikos) for the bronze on which this model is based, with additional references.






Sculpture Collection

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