A DOCCIA (CARLO GINORI) WHITE PORTRAIT BUST OF THE EMPEROR VITELLIUS
A DOCCIA (CARLO GINORI) WHITE PORTRAIT BUST OF THE EMPEROR VITELLIUS

CIRCA 1754-60, AFTER THE ANTIQUE

细节
A DOCCIA (CARLO GINORI) WHITE PORTRAIT BUST OF THE EMPEROR VITELLIUS
CIRCA 1754-60, AFTER THE ANTIQUE
Modelled bust-length, his head lowered and slightly turned, supported on a scroll-moulded waisted socle with a stepped square base
20 ¼ in. (51.6 cm.) high
来源
Probably acquired by William James in Italy, prior to 1912, for the Italian Room at West Dean.
Moved to 35 Wimpole Street by Edward James in the 1930s (one of the pair, which remains at West Dean, is visible in a photograph of the Tent Room taken in 1939 by Norman Parkinson).
出版
'Surrealism and The Golden Age: West Dean and the James Legacy,' Apollo Magazine, June 1999.
Johann Kräftner (ed.), Baroque Luxury Porcelain. The Manufactories of Du Paquier in Vienna and of Carlo Ginori in Florence, Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna, Exhibition Catalogue, Munich, 2005, p. 404, cat. no. 258.
展览
London, The Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair, Surrealism and The Golden Age: West Dean and the James Legacy, June 1999.
Vienna, Liechtenstein Museum, Baroque Luxury Porcelain. The Manufactories of Du Paquier in Vienna and of Carlo Ginori in Florence, 10 November 2005 - 29 January 2006, cat. no. 258.

荣誉呈献

Amelia Walker
Amelia Walker

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拍品专文

This sculpture is from an important series of porcelain Imperial portraits made by Doccia after Roman originals. The originals were gathered in a room in the Capitoline Museum in Rome called the Sala degli Imperatori by the Florentine Marchese Alessandro Gregorio Capponi, who was the first president of the museum from 1734 to 1746. These Roman busts were later to be the basis for Doccia's series of Imperial portraits in porcelain. In the inventory of models at Doccia, twelve busts of emperors are recorded in a single entry: 'Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian' and it is expressly stated that these were copied from originals in the Capitoline Museum. The porcelain busts appear in the Doccia manufactory price-list, dated around 1760 as 'Teste di Cesari di grandezza naturale modellate dagli originali del Campidoglio colla loro Base di porcellana bianca' (Life size heads of emperors after the originals in the Capitol, with their white porcelain pedestals).1

Marchese Carlo Ginori (1701-57) established the Doccia porcelain manufactory near Florence in 1737. Porcelain was a new and fashionable medium and Ginori was in possession of the secret of 'true hard-paste' porcelain from Vienna, which opened up sculptural possibilities for his factory which were not available to factories making 'soft-paste' porcelain, which was extremely unstable when fired. By the middle of the 18th century the collecting of large-scale copies of antique sculpture in marble and bronze had been fashionable in the courts of Europe for at least a century. Ginori was eager to meet the demand for copies of classical antiquities and of the more recent sculptures by baroque masters, and he acquired wax models and moulds of these so that his factory could produce them on a large scale in porcelain, despite the immense technical challenges that this presented.

With this in mind, during the 1740s and 1750s he acquired moulds of the most famous works from the grand-ducal collections in Florence and from sculptures in the Ufizzi, for reproduction in porcelain. Ginori also sought works to copy from outside Florence, and for this purpose from 1753 he employed Guido Bottari, the well-connected Florentine living in Rome, whose brother was Giovanni Gaetano Bottari, the author of the four-volume catalogue Il Museo Capitolino, published between 1741 and 1782. A series of letters from Bottari to Ginori, dating from early 1753 through to the autumn of 1756 survives in the Ginori Lisci family archive, giving a fascinating insight into the difficulties in finding suitable works for copying. The correspondence indicates that permission to copy antique works in the Capitoline Museum was particularly difficult to obtain and suggests that to speed things up, Bottari was also willing to acquire illegal copies made without permission. In December 1753 he wrote to Ginori on the subject: '...ma bisogna tenere il segreto perchè sará un contrabbando' (...but this must be kept secret since it will be an illegal copy). The letters also document the arrival in Rome in February 1753 of Francesco Lici, who was sent by Ginori to complete the moulds which were necessary to execute the sculptures in porcelain, a process that was overseen by Bottari. A letter from Bottari to Ginori in the private archives of the Ginori Lisci family indicates how the manufactory came into possession of copies of the twelve emperors. It appears that the 'Teste de' Dodici Cesare' (heads of the twelve Caesars) had been sent to Florence prior to 20 July 1754 (the date when Guido Bottari informed Carlo Ginori of the fact) and that the heads had been received from a certain 'Sig.r. Campiglia', referring to the engraver Giovanni Domenico Campiglia, who had produced engravings of the sculptures for the second volume of the Capitoline Museum catalogue published by Giovanni Gaetano Botarri. This suggests that the heads bought by Ginori from Campiglia were plaster casts. Subsequently, a letter dated 3 August 1754, indicates that Lici was hard at work preparing plaster moulds from four of the heads whose casts were already on their way to Florence. The letter suggests that Ginori had bought the heads of the twelve emperors from Campiglia without the associated busts in which the heads are set, however it appears that Lici did take a mould of the bust part of Caligula. As the portraits of the emperors acquired by Campiglia for Ginori came without the associated bust parts, Bruschi, as the master modeller at the factory, requested from his employer a copy of the second volume of the Capitoline museum catalogue so that he could complete the portraits in porcelain. The angle of the head of both the present bust of Emperor Vitellius and that of Vespasian supports the suggestion that the busts were originally intended to be placed at some height for viewing from below.

Carlo Ginori was the first Italian porcelain manufacturer to attempt to exploit the burgeoning fashion for the neoclassical so boldly and ambitiously. For a list of known examples from this series see Johann Kräftner (ed.), Baroque Luxury Porcelain. The Manufactories of Du Paquier in Vienna and of Carlo Ginori in Florence, Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna, Exhibition Catalogue, Munich, 2005 (cats no. 256, 259 and 261), together, in the case of Tiberius and Titus, with their Roman originals. A Doccia head of Emperor Claudius was sold, Sotheby's, 5 May 1970, lot 15. Other examples of his large-scale porcelain sculptures after the antique include the 'Crouching Venus seated on a Scallop Shell' in the Victoria and Albert Museum.


1. Leonardo Ginori Lisci, La porcellana di Doccia, Milan, 1963, p. 235.
2. A licence to copy six statues in the museum finally arrived on 22 September 1753. See Johann Kräftner (ed.), Baroque Luxury Porcelain. The Manufactories of Du Paquier in Vienna and of Carlo Ginori in Florence, Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna, Exhibition Catalogue, Munich, 2005, pp. 179-189, the essay by John Winter, 'Porcelain Sculpture at Doccia' for further discussion of the development of sculpture after the antique at Doccia, the process of taking moulds for this purpose and documentary references.
3. Museum no. 5423-1859, illustrated by Johann Kräftner (ed.), ibid., Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna, Exhibition Catalogue, Munich, 2005, p. 398, see also, cat. no. 253. cat. no. 252 (La Venere sedente), cat. no. 250 (Venere de' Medici), cat. no. 254 (Amore e Psiche) and cat. no. 266 (Ganimede), also modelled after the antique.

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