Lot 13 (Garden and Natural History Live Auction, 11th June 2019)

Sold for £7,000

Lot details

Garden Statues: After the Antique: A bronze figure of the Medici Apollo

last quarter 19th century

on fragmentary marble base

152cm high

Provenance: The Countess of Midleton, Eastwell Park Estate; Thence by descent

The Medici Apollo or Apollino is a Roman copy of a Hellenistic sculpture of the adolescent god Apollo of the Apollo Lykeios type. It is now in the Uffizi, Florence.

Found complete in Rome in the 17th century, though its exact early provenance is obscure, it was originally in the Borghese collection, until it was moved to the Medici collection at Villa Medici, where it was recorded in 1704. Unlike many ancient sculptures in the Medici collection, it was not moved to Florence by Cosimo III de’ Medici, remaining in Rome until it was removed to accompany the Medici Niobe Group in 1769-70.

In 1840 at the Uffizi it was broken by a painting falling on it and was restored by Lorenzo Bartolini, who covered the whole statue with a layer of paint to disguise the repairs.

Much admired, it was extensively copied from the 17th century onwards and like the Dancing faun such copies of Greco-Roman statuary were popular among contemporary wealthy art collectors who wanted their own versions of ancient art seen during their travels in Europe and Greece, on what was known as the “grand tour.”