The J. Paul Getty Museum

Gem with Venus and Anchises

Object Details

Title:

Gem with Venus and Anchises

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Roman

Place:

Italy (Place Created)

Date:

about 25 B.C.

Medium:

Gem: cornelian; modern frame: gold and enamel

Object Number:

2017.2

Dimensions:

3.3 cm (1 5/16 in.)

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Object Description

Superbly engraved, the gem depicts a woman, mostly nude, with her hair bound in a sakkos, seated on a pile of stones, who gestures to a nude youth standing before her. He has drapery over one shoulder and carries a pedum (a hunter's throwing stick) visible near his shoulder. The identity of the pair has been the subject of scrutiny since the gem’s first publication in the eighteenth century, but they are likely the goddess Venus and her lover, the Trojan Anchises. The offspring of their union was Aeneas, the father of the Roman people. The gold and enamel mount appears to date to the 18th-century.

Provenance
Provenance
-

Lauthier, French,

by 1737 -

Nicolas Mahudel, French, 1673 - 1747

by 1752 - 1774

Pierre-Jean Mariette, French, 1694 - 1774

1774 - 1775

Estate of Pierre-Jean Mariette, French, 1694 - 1774 [sold, F. Basan, Paris, La vente Mariette, November 15, 1775 - January 30, 1776, lot 94, to Basan.]

1775 -

Pierre-François Basan (L.221), French, 1723 - 1798

- 1817

George Spencer, 4th duke of Marlborough, English, 1739 - 1817 (Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England), by inheritance to his son, George Spencer-Churchill, 1817.

1817 - 1840

George Spencer-Churchill, 5th duke of Marlborough, English, 1766 - 1840 (Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England), by inheritance to his son, George Spencer-Churchill, 1840.

1840 - 1857

George Spencer-Churchill, 6th duke of Marlborough, English, 1793 - 1857 (Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England), by inheritance to his son, John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 1857.

1857 - 1875

John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th duke of Marlborough, 1822 - 1883 (Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England) [sold, The Marlborough Gems, Christie's, London, June 28, 1875, lot 340, to David Bromilow.]

1875 - 1898

David Bromilow, English, 1809 - 1898, by inheritance to his daughter, Mrs. Julia Hariet Mary Jary, 1898.

1898 - 1899

Mrs. Julia Harriet Mary Jary, English [sold, The Marlborough Gems, Christie's, London, June 26, 1899, lot 340, to C. Davis.]

1899 -
- 1920

Friedrich Ludwig von Gans, German, 1833 - 1920

1920 - 1941

Kurt Walter Bachstitz, sold to Hans Posse for the Führermuseum collection, 1941.

1941

Hans Posse, acquired on behalf of Adolf Hitler for the collection of the Führermuseum and transferred to the collection, 1941.

1941 - 1945

Führermuseum (Linz, Austria), recovered in Altaussee, Austria and transferred to the Central Collecting Point, Munich, 1945.

1945 - 1949

Central Collecting Point, Munich, transferred to the Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden, 1949.

1949 - 1951

Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden, transferred to the Stichtung Nederlandisch Kunstbezit, 1951.

1951 - 2016

Stichtung Nederlandisch Kunstbezit, restituted to the heirs of Kurt Walter Bachstitz, 2016.

2016

Heirs of Kurt Walter Bachstitz [sold, Sotheby's, London, December 6, 2016, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Exhibition of Works of Glyptic Art (June 1861)
  • Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (London), June to June 1861
Bibliography
Bibliography

Levesque de Gravelle, Michel Philippe. Recueil de pierres gravees antiques: seconde partie. (Paris: P.J. Mariette, 1737), p. 73, no. XCVII.

Caylus, Anne Claude Philippe, comte de. Recueil d'antiquités égyptiennes, étrusques, grecques et romaines. vol. 1 (Paris: Desaint and Sailant, 1752, pp. 127-129, no. III, pl. XLVII.

Pierre-François Basan, Paris. Catalogue raisonné des différens objets de curiosités dans les sciences et arts qui composaient le cabinet de feu M. Mariette. Catalogue de vente. November 15, 1775 - January 30, 1776, lot 94.

Lippert, Philipp Daniel. Dactyliothec: das ist Sammlung geschnittener Steine der Alten : aus denen vornehmsten Museis in Europa zum Nutzen der schönen Künste und Künstler in zweitausend Abdrücken ediret. Supplement. vol. 3 (Leipzig: Crusius, 1776), p. 133, no. 166.

Raponi, Ignazio Maria. Recueil de pierres antiques gravées concernant l'histoire, la mythologie, la fable, les cérémonies religieuses, les costumes des anciens peuples, et les plus fameux personnages de l'antiquité. (Rome: Bouchard & Gravier, 1786), pp. 1-2, pl. III, nr. 2.

Tassie, James and Rudolf Erich Raspe. A descriptive catalogue of a general collection of ancient and modern engraved gems, cameos as well as intaglios, taken from the most celebrated cabinets in Europe, vol. 1. (London: J. Tassie, 1791), pp. 386-7, no. 6544, paste.

King, Charles. "Notices of Collections of Glyptic Art Exhibited by the Archaeological Institute in June 1861." Archaeological Journal (1862), p. 106, no. 393.

King, Charles William. The Natural History of Gems or Decorative Stones. (London: Bell & Daldy, 1867), p. 146n1.

Story-Maskelyne, Nevil. The Marlborough gems: being a collection of works in cameo and intaglio formed by George, third duke of Marlborough. (London: n.p., 1870), no. 340.

King, Charles William. Antique Gems and Rings, vol. 1. (London: Bell and Daldy, 1872), p. 215.

Christie's, London. The Marlborough Gems. June 28, 1875.

Furtwängler, Adolf. Meisterwerke der griechischen Plastik: Kunstgeschichtliche Untersuchungen. (Leipzig: Giesecke & Devrient, 1893), p. 486n3.

Christie's, London. Sale cat., The Marlborough Gems. June 26, 1899, lot 340.

"Sales: The Marlborough Gems." The New York Times (July 15, 1899), p. 471.

Furtwängler, Adolf. Die Antiken Gemmen Geschichte der Steinschneidekunst im klassischen Altertum (Leipzig and Berlin: Giesecke & Devrient, 1900), p. 175, pl. XXXVI, no. 32.

Lippold, Georg. Gemmen und Kameen des Altertums und der Neuzeit. (Stuttgart: Julius Hoffmann Verlag, 1922), p. 172, pl. XXIV.8.

Vollenweider, Marie-Louise. Die Steinschneidekunst und ihre Künstler in spätrepublikanischer und augusteischer Zeit. (Baden-Baden: Bruno Grimm, 1966), pp. 41n23, 42, pl. 34, 1-2.

Groß, Walter Hatto. Review of Die Steinschneidekunst und ihre Künstler in spätrepublikanischer und augusteischer Zeit, by Marie-Louise Vollenweider. Göttingischen Gelehrten Anzeigen 220 (1968), p. 54.

Maaskant-Kleibrink, Marianne. Catalogue of the engraved gems in the Royal Coin Cabinet, The Hague : the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman collections. (Hague: Govt. Pub. Office, 1978), p. 370, no. 1166, pl. 1166a.

Zwierlein-Diehl, Erika. Glaspasten im Martin-von-Wagner-Museum der Universität Würzburg. (Munich: Prestel, 1986), p. 190.

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Platz-Horster, Gertrud. Nil und Euthenia: der Kalzitkameo im Antikenmuseum Berlin. (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1992), pp. 29, 31, fig. 33.

Haynes, Denys. "The Portland vase: a reply." The Journal of Hellenic Studies 115 (1995), p. 150, n. 25.

Boardman, John. The Marlborough Gems (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

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Potts, Timothy. "Recent acquisitions (2013–16) at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles." The Burlington Magazine 159, no. 1368, Supplement (March 2017), p. 257, no. I, ill.

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Kozlovski, Alina. "Ancient Ruins—Parts of the Past as Well as the Present." (4th September, 2019) http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/ancient-ruins-parts-of-the-past-as-well-as-the-present/.