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Fragment of the right leg and thigh from a Roman statue of a female.

Grey Greek island marble

Length (straight measurement): 55cm

Museum number: M465

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 398help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

This weathered fragment, showing clear evidence of having lain exposed to the elements prior to its acquisition by the sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey, consists of part of a statue: a female right leg and a section of the thigh, in a pose which indicates the weight rested on the left foot. Such a fragment would fit a statue such as the type made prominent by the Venus de Medici1 and comparison with the two casts of that statue in the Soane Museum confirms that this leg is but a slightly heavier copy.

Sir Francis L. Chantrey, RA (1781-1841), a leading sculptor of the Regency Period and later, whose works are to be seen in Lichfield Cathedral, Hanover and Trafalgar Squares, and Westminster Abbey, executed and presented to Sir John in 1830 the marble bust of Soane which is set on the east side of the Dome Area (Soane M931). He made a visit to Rome in 1819 and like so many others of his time, could not resist carrying away at least one of the many marble fragments which met his eye. The piece is more interesting in this association than for any merits of its own.

1 Amelung, Führer, no. 67.

Provenance help-art-provenance

This leg is said to have been found by Sir Francis Chantrey in the Circus of Caracalla, Rome, in 1819 and to have been presented by him to Sir John Soane.


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk