The main staircase of this Belgravia residence is accompanied by a cascading series of classical, Renaissance and neo-classical plaster cast sculptures. The reliefs, fragments and busts displayed here have been taken from some of the most recognisable sculptures in European history. More »
Together, they elegantly chart the canonical interest in classicism and aesthetic forms of representation that originated in Ancient Greece and with the rebirth of classicism in the 15th century, continued to be a profound source of inspiration for artists from the Renaissance onwards. « Less
On the ground floor the viewer is greeted by an elaborate Medici vase from a series held in the Villa Medici in Rome during the 16th century. Accompanying this vase are three Medallions by the French Baroque sculptor Jacques Sarazin from his series of Cardinal Virtues. Here, Justice, Prudence and Temperance are personified as goddesses.
Two monumental fragments govern the wall of the floor above. The first of these is a cast of the bust of the Belvedere Apollo, a Roman sculpture copied from an original Hellenistic work by Leochares. Since 1815, the sculpture has been held in the Vatican collection and is widely considered as one of the greatest examples of Classical craftsmanship. Apollo’s gaze directs the viewer up the staircase to the left wing of the Victory of Samothrace held by the Louvre
The second floor displays a series of casts from both classical and Renaissance works. Commanding the central and far left panels of this façade are three bass relief metopes of Cavaliers cast from the Parthenon in Athens. Conceived between 447 and 432 BC, these highly dynamic reliefs were a part of the south-facing scheme of the frieze that charts a procession formed during the Panathenaic festival in honour of Athena. More »
Glancing inwards on the left is Julia Paula, the wife of the Etruscan Emperor Elagabalus, and on the right, Faustina the Ancient, wife of Antoninus Pius. Above and below these are a series of Renaissance plaques by the French sculptor Jean Goujon that personify four of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. « Less
This display of classicism culminates on the top floor in a scheme of casts taken from classical and neo-classical sculpture. Within the centre of this composition is a sarcophagus fragment detailing a dynamic moment from the Attic War between the Amazons and Athenians. On the right Augustus Caesar, the first Roman Emperor, and on the left, the bust of Pericles, a famous Greek politician and general during the Golden Age of Athens.