Ariel thumbnail 1
Ariel thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Ariel

Brooch
ca. 1840 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The carving of cameos from both hardstones and shell was an established Roman speciality. Cameos were often brought home from there by travellers who were doing the Grand Tour (a tour of continental Europe made by wealthy gentlemen, often to complete their education). Designs were copied from ancient gems and from paintings and sculpture. In this case the composition closely resembles a painting of 1826 by the artist Joseph Severn who lived in Rome. The painting is also in the V&A.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Shell cameo set in a gold mount
Brief Description
Brooch with a cameo of Ariel flying on the back of a bat. England, about 1840; the cameo probably by the studio of Tommaso Saulini (1784-1864). Shell cameo set in gold. Based on an oil painting by Joseph Severn, On the Bat's Back I Do Fly, 1826, in the V&A's collection
Physical Description
Cameo brooch, gold scrollwork with shell cameo of a naked youth - Ariel - with a large feather in his left hand, on the back of a flying bat. The treatment of the subject, taken from Shakespeare's The Tempest (Act 5, Scene 1), closely resembles a painting by Joseph Severn in the V&A (mus. no. 1410-1869).
Dimensions
  • Height: 6.1cm
  • Width: 8.1cm
  • Depth: 1.9cm
Credit line
Given by Mrs L. M. Festing
Object history
Shell cameo of Ariel on a bat's back, gold scrollin frame. The treatment of the subject, taken from Shakespeare's The Tempest (Act 5, Scene 1), closely resembles a painting by Joseph Severn (1793-1869) in the V&A (Museum no. 1410-1869). Severn, Keats's friend, spent many years in Rome.



There is a black glass impression of this cameo, signed T. Saulini, belonging to the Paoletti collection and now in the Museo di Roma (inv. 27.809). (Barberini and de Petra).
Subjects depicted
Literary ReferenceShakespeare, W, <font -u>The Tempest</font -u>, Act V, scene i.
Summary
The carving of cameos from both hardstones and shell was an established Roman speciality. Cameos were often brought home from there by travellers who were doing the Grand Tour (a tour of continental Europe made by wealthy gentlemen, often to complete their education). Designs were copied from ancient gems and from paintings and sculpture. In this case the composition closely resembles a painting of 1826 by the artist Joseph Severn who lived in Rome. The painting is also in the V&A.
Associated Object
1410-1869 (Depiction)
Bibliographic Reference
Barberini, Francesca and Dickmann de Petra, Micaela Tomasso e Luigi Saulini: Incisori di cammei nella Roma dell' Ottocento, Rome, p. 99, cat. 86
Collection
Accession Number
M.274-1921

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record createdJanuary 20, 2003
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