Childhood of Jupiter thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery

Childhood of Jupiter

Relief
ca. 1697-1705/10 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This relief made by Ignaz Elhafen in ca. 1697-1705/10 represents the childhood of Jupiter. The monochrome colouring of material meant that ivories such as this could ape in miniature the ancient marbles much valued by connoisseurs and collectors of the time. Jupiter was reared on a mountainside in order that his father, Cronos, would not swallow him up.

Two reliefs depicting the Childhood of Bacchus in the Bayerisches National Museum in Munich (inv. no. R 4673 monogrammed by Elhafen; and inv. no. 4674 after Elhafen) differ from the V&A relief, though they are mentioned in the 2013 catalogue by Trusted.

Elhafen (1658-1715) was trained in Innsbruck, and then travelled to Italy, probably between 1675 and 1678. Subsequently he worked in Vienna, and then in Düsseldorf, where he was based at the court of Johann II Wilhelm, the Elector Palatine from 1703/4 onwards. Elhafen worked in ivory above all, although he also produced small-scale sculptures in wood. He specialised in relief sculptures and many of these are based on prints.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleChildhood of Jupiter (generic title)
Materials and techniques
Ivory
Brief description
Relief, ivory, The Childhood of Jupiter, by Ignaz Elhafen, German, ca. 1697-1705/10
Physical description
Pan is seated on the left, holding a tambourine aloft, behind him a female figure plays the cymbals, and a satyr near a large urn looks on at the central scene. A reclining female figure in the centre milks a goat (Amalthea), turning towards a small naked child (Jupiter), seated behind her, holding a bottle. Another satyr plays a pipe on the right, and three female figures recline in the background. Monogrammed 'I.E.'.
Dimensions
  • Width: 19.8cm
  • Height: 10.1cm
Credit line
Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA
Object history
Given by Dr. W. L. Hildburgh FSA in 1949. Formerly on loan from Dr Hildburgh.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This relief made by Ignaz Elhafen in ca. 1697-1705/10 represents the childhood of Jupiter. The monochrome colouring of material meant that ivories such as this could ape in miniature the ancient marbles much valued by connoisseurs and collectors of the time. Jupiter was reared on a mountainside in order that his father, Cronos, would not swallow him up.

Two reliefs depicting the Childhood of Bacchus in the Bayerisches National Museum in Munich (inv. no. R 4673 monogrammed by Elhafen; and inv. no. 4674 after Elhafen) differ from the V&A relief, though they are mentioned in the 2013 catalogue by Trusted.

Elhafen (1658-1715) was trained in Innsbruck, and then travelled to Italy, probably between 1675 and 1678. Subsequently he worked in Vienna, and then in Düsseldorf, where he was based at the court of Johann II Wilhelm, the Elector Palatine from 1703/4 onwards. Elhafen worked in ivory above all, although he also produced small-scale sculptures in wood. He specialised in relief sculptures and many of these are based on prints.
Bibliographic references
  • Theuerkauff, Christian, ed. Elfenbein, Sammlung Reiner Winkler, Vol I, 1984, p. 39, no. 13
  • Theuerkauff, Christian. 'Der "Helffenbeinarbeiter" Ignaz Elhafen', in: Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte, 21.1968, p. 92-157
  • Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 7, p. 12
Collection
Accession number
A.49-1949

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Record createdJanuary 13, 2004
Record URL
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