Bacchanalian infants playing with a donkey thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery

Bacchanalian infants playing with a donkey

Relief
ca. 1650-1670 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The monochrome colouring of material meant that these ivories could ape in miniature the ancient marbles much valued by connoisseurs and collectors of the time. This ivory is made after François du Quesnoy who was a Netherlandish sculptor, who spent most of working life in Rome and assimilated the classical style. His tender and sensuous reliefs of cupids, satyrs and small children were highly influential. See also inv.nos. 1059 to 1061-1853 and 1063 to 1064-1853for further reliefs in this group. It may have been made soon after his death in the second half of the seventeenth century Boudon-Machuel calls them pasticci, pastiches derived from in part from other compositions which Du Quesnoy executed on a larger scale in marble. Variants are also known in bronze, enamel and porcelain. The nicks on the back of the present reliefs, show that they were differentiated, and must have been made to indicate how they should be displayed at one time. The reliefs vary slightly in size from one another, but fundamentally they form a set, and must have been shown as a group together.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved ivory
Brief Description
Relief, ivory, carved in high relief, Bacchanalian scene, after François Du Quesnoy, South Netherlands, ca. 1650-1670
Physical Description
Relief, carved in high relief depicting a group of six infant putti and two fauns are playing around Silenus' donkey. Trees are to be seen in low relief. Two pairs of holes are drilled into the top for fixing purposes. One small nick is visible at the centre of the reverse of the relief.
Dimensions
  • Height: 10.8cm
  • Width: 15.3cm
Object history
Bought for £26 5s. in 1853 (vendor unrecorded). Perhaps purchased from Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (1780-1854), clockmaker to the Queen. Possibly formerly in the collection of the Earl of Bessborough, sale Christie's, London, 7 February 1801, lot 30 (sold for £141 15s.):'six beautiful Groups of Boys, exquisitely carved in ivory, from nature, by Fiamingo; truly chef d'oeuvres of this celebrated artist; from the collections of the great Duke of Buckingham.
Subjects depicted
Summary
The monochrome colouring of material meant that these ivories could ape in miniature the ancient marbles much valued by connoisseurs and collectors of the time. This ivory is made after François du Quesnoy who was a Netherlandish sculptor, who spent most of working life in Rome and assimilated the classical style. His tender and sensuous reliefs of cupids, satyrs and small children were highly influential. See also inv.nos. 1059 to 1061-1853 and 1063 to 1064-1853for further reliefs in this group. It may have been made soon after his death in the second half of the seventeenth century Boudon-Machuel calls them pasticci, pastiches derived from in part from other compositions which Du Quesnoy executed on a larger scale in marble. Variants are also known in bronze, enamel and porcelain. The nicks on the back of the present reliefs, show that they were differentiated, and must have been made to indicate how they should be displayed at one time. The reliefs vary slightly in size from one another, but fundamentally they form a set, and must have been shown as a group together.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic References
  • Lock, L. E. 'Art and Manufacture of Netherlandish Wood Sculpture c. 1600-1750'. Sculpture Journal, XII, 2004, fig. 1 on p. 24, pp. 27-28
  • Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1852. 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. 41
  • Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 101
  • Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. Part II. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1929, p. 73
Collection
Accession Number
1062-1853

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record createdDecember 12, 2003
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