1. Marcus Meijers, Herm bust of Marcello Venuti, 1730, terracotta,
49,2×32,2 cm, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan & Tim Knox Collection, London,
Fig. 2. The signature on the side of the Herm bust of Marcello Venuti.
Fig. 3. Marcus Meijers, Bronze Medal of Marcus Tuscher, ∅ 65,4 mm, Cortona, Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca.
Fig. 4. Jean-Antoine Houdon, Herm bust of Rousseau, 1778-80, bronze, H. 45 cm, Paris, musée du Louvre.
Fig. 5. Christopher Hewetson, Herm bust of Gavin Hamilton, 1783 ca., marble, H. 55,8 cm, Glasgow, The Hunterian Museum.
Fig. 6. Agostino Penna, Herm of Antisthenes, Rome, Biblioteca di Palazzo Venezia, Ms. Lanciani 138.
Fig. 7. Giovanni Volpato factory, Double herm bust of José Nicola de
Azara and Anton Raphaël Mengs, 1785 ca., biscuit, 28,1x14x17 cm,
Bergamo, Pinacoteca dell’Accademia Carrara.
Fig. 8. Double herm bust of Epicurus and Metrodoros, early 2nd century
A. D., marble, 60 cm high, Rome, Musei Capitolini, Gallery of
Fig. 9. Antoine Chaudet, Cenotaph with a seated woman grasping the
portrait of her husband, 1795, marble, 87,5x36x45,8 cm, Paris, musée
des Arts décoratifs.
Fig. 10. Filippo Tagliolini, Little bust of Archidamos III, king of
Sparta, 1785-1806, biscuit, 18 cm high, Naples, Museo e Gallerie
Nazionali di Capodimonte.
Fig. 11. John Flaxman, Herm bust of Henry Philip Hope, 1802-1803, marble, 54,2 cm high, Copenhagen, Thorvaldsens Museum.
Fig. 12. Antoine Chaudet, Herm bust of Napoleon I, 1804, marble, Rueil-Malmason, Musée national du château.
Fig. 13. Jeanne-Élisabeth Chaudet-Husson, Portrait of Laetitia Murat,
1806, oil on canvas, 116,5×89 cm, Fontainebleau, Musée national du
Château de Fontainebleau.
Fig. 14. Jean-Antoine Houdon, Herm bust of Napoleon I, 1806, terracotta, 52,5×27,7×20,5 cm, Dijon, musée des Beaux-arts.
Fig. 15. Augustus Bevilacqua, early Ist century A. D., marble, 50,5 cm high, Munich, Glyptothek.
The difficult rebirth of the herm bust
It was supposedly during the excavations of the ruins of Hadrian’s
Villa at Tivoli that the architect Fra Giocondo da Verona conducted
around 1488, that the first ancient herm portraits were found again[*].
Often broken, as they had been re-used as building material, these
herms retained the names of famous men from Greek Antiquity, to which
they had been dedicated, thus stirring the interest of antiquarians.
During the realization of Pope Julius III’s Villa a little beyond Porta
del Popolo – the construction of which began in 1551 under Vignola’s
supervision, after an overall design by Vasari -, a certain number of
herms were taken away to be reinstalled in the pathways of the garden.
Recovering in that way a new decorative function, all of the headless
herms received at that time new heads. At the time of Julius III’s
death, in 1555, Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici inherited most of them,
for the new Pope, Pius IV, put the northern part of the Villa Giulia
estate at the disposal of Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and his
family. Upon Cardinal Giovanni’s premature death in 1562, his Roman
belongings were transferred to his younger brother, Cardinal
Ferdinando, who, at the beginning of 1576, bought Cardinal Ricci da
Montepulciano’s Villa on the Pincio and had the collection of herms –
which had become a Medici collection – carried from Villa Giulia. The
herms which had remained in other parts of the gardens of Pope Julius
III’s Villa ended up in other Roman collections, such as Cardinal
Rodolfo Pio da Carpi’s.
Pius IV also picked up several items for the gorgeous setting of his
Amphiteatro Vaticano, the gallery of illustrious men and women that the
Neapolitan architect Pirro Ligorio staged in the hemicycle of the
courtyard of the Belvedere in 1564-1565.
In the same way, in the thirty or so years following 1550, Ligorio
set about drawing all the herm portraits that had been found either in
Tivoli or in Rome and its surroundings, and along ancient consulary
lines of communications, as far as Campania, at Cumae or Pozzuoli, for
his illustrated and annotated encyclopaedia, the Antichità di Roma,
which unfortunately never appeared in print. This middle of the 16th century was indeed a time for catalogues, compilations and classifications.
What then could be more interesting than bringing together the known
images of the famous men of Antiquity in order to try to piece together
the history of this Graeco-Roman past? While Ligorio did not perfectly
realize his huge entreprise, others, less ambitious, such as Achilles
Statius (Achille Estaco) or Fulvio Orsini, never ended putting together
illustrated albums of antique portraits, in which the lion’s share were
the herm exemplaries, displaying the inscribed names of these famous
philosophers, poets and orators. Orsini’s volume, for instance, first published in 1570, was republished and enlarged twice, in 1598 and 1606.
A joy for both scholars and collectors of antiquities, these herm
portraits nevertheless did not stir any interest among contemporary
sculptors. The reverse of a bronze medal showing Erasmus, made by
Quentin Metsys in 1519 and representing the god Terminus is one of the
rare examples – and doubtless the earliest one – of this formula of
reuse in the Renaissance.
The prevailing model for all’antica busts sculpted in the round still
remained the portrait of emperors on a socle, with a rounded cut,
showing the upper part of the arms, and with the chest covered with a
tight-fitting cuirass and/or the paludamentum worn by imperatores. In
his manuscripts, Ligorio gives us interesting testimonies on the Roman
habit of transforming herms of philosophers into busts of emperors so
as to satisfy the insistent requests of collectors striving after
complete series. It was not until the 18th
century, and especially in the last quarter of it, that the herm bust
appeared to exert strong influence over the European artistic
avant-garde. Reused in the decoration of libraries in Renaissance
palaces or important villas in the second half of the 16th
century, or in the studii of some learned collector such as the
aforementioned Fulvio Orsini, in Palazzo Farnese; and reproduced in
albums dealing with antiquaria, ancient herm busts had eventually been
assimilated to studium. While late Renaissance humanists and 17th
century scholars largely chose to be portrayed in paintings or in
prints, their sculpted effigies, much rarer, were confined to the genre
of the medal, or restricted to funerary monuments, nor for which tombs
was the type of the herm bust chosen. On the other hand, during its
revival from the end of the Ancien Régime onwards, sculpted portraits
in herm shape reached a wide range of circles, nor did not exclude the
fair sex. It is obvious therefore that when pondering the reasons which
triggered the rebirth of this type of works, I will not just try to
bring clarification to the history of the evolution of forms. Starting
from a set of themes linked to the fortuna dell’antico I will try to
understand better a piece of the history of taste and of European
society at the turn of the 18th century.
It was in Florence in 1730 that the work we can consider as the
first herm bust of the modern era was made (fig. 1). This white-painted
terracotta 49,2 cm high and 32,2 large was modelled by a Netherlandish
architect and sculptor, Marcus Meijers, whose name is inscribed on the
left handside of the herm (fig. 2). Like in ancient types, the name of
the sitter, with his ancestry and origin, is engraved on the front:
N. MARCELLVS. IOSEPHI. F.
The son of a knight from Cortona, named Giuseppe, the nephew of
Domenico Girolamo – a fiscal auditor for the Grand Duke of Tuscany -,
and the brother of Ridolfino, Giovan Battista and Filippo, Marcello
Venuti had been in 1727 one of the founders of the Etruscan Academy of
Cortona. Upon their uncle’s death, on November, 28th 1729, the young Venutis had inherited his goods. And on the following 15th
of July, the very year when this portrait was executed, Marcello
inherited the birthright which his brother Ridolfino had received from
Domenico Girolamo, thus becoming in due form the head of the family,
their own father having died in 1708.
This bust may very well have been realized at the close of such events, all the more so that, on August 9th, Marcello celebrated his thirtieth birthday.
Admittedly a considerable boldness was required to give up the wig and
long hair, as well as all sorts of elements pertaining to his social
status, when becoming the head of a lineage. But others had already
ventured to break these proprieties. You will remember that in Rome,
three years before, the eccentric Baron Philipp von Stosch had taken
off his wig and garments in order to display the attractions of his
bare chest, like a new emperor, in a marble all’antica bust sculpted by
Bouchardon. And in the two following years, according to the baronissimo’s advice,
two young milordi of the Grand Tour, John Gordon of Invergordon and
John, Lord Hervey, had followed suit, the antique formula becoming for
them too the dreamed occasion to flaunt their homo-eroticism.
By choosing the abstraction of the herm and this impressive frontality,
Marcello Venuti obviously wanted to evoke a totally different universe.
In a strong position because of the high regard that the most esteemed
Florentine scholars of this period felt towards him – among them
Senator Filippo Buonarroti was the spiritual leader -, Venuti paraded
as an erudite, as a “Temperatissimo Filosofo”, as Stosch himself would
address him as in a letter written ten years later, on the occasion of
And this philosophical temper must have been a salient feature of his
character since, when delivering a funeral oration in praise of him at
the Etruscan Academy on August 22nd 1755, Girolamo Boni singled it as one of his main virtues, acquired since his early years.
An astronomy fanatic, young Knight Venuti had attended the lectures
of the great mathematicians and famous jurists of the University of
Pisa. He knew ancient Greek, which he had learned in Florence under
Abbot Anton Maria Salvini, and was familiar with debates about
epigraphy and numismatics, which were part of the otium of several
Florentines at the turn of the 17th century and the first
years of the Settecento. But this experimental piece imitating ancient
marble herms not only reflects the scholarship, interest in antiquarian
culture, and temperance of Cavalier Venuti. In 1730, such a portrait of
an aristocrat was possible only in as cosmopolitan and liberal a
society as Florence, which was admirably reconstructed by Fabia Borroni
Salvadori about forty years ago.
In a neo-humanist climate, spiced with some self-irony, people were
interested as much in politics as in works of art, in its contemporary
production as well as in former centuries and in Antiquity, and in the
market for those items itself; the debates on the culture and language
of the Etruscans did not exclude an equally passionate interest in the
Tuscan language of origins and in medieval history. A place was given
to anything different and bizarre, the most liberal of all being the
Grand Duke himself, Gian Gastone, the last of the Medici. This is
testified to by the warm welcome reserved to Baron Stosch, an avowed
atheist and nonconformist, whose oddities and political schemes ended
up irritating the Papal court to the extent that he had to flee Rome in
order to save his life.
As well as the fact that, around 1730, visiting Englishmen could create
a masonic lodge in Florence, probably the first one in the Italian
The experimental aspect of this effigy is attested too by Venuti’s
choice of the artist, a young Frisian sculptor of the same generation
as Marcello, who apparently died in Florence in 1736.
Some time after this bust, and in all likehood thanks to the
recommendation of Marcello Venuti, Meijers made a beautiful bronze
medal (fig. 3) representing Marcus Tuscher (1705-1751), an artist from
Nurnberg who had a wide-ranging practice and had arrived in Florence
following Stosch in February 1731, after an almost three-year stay in
The all’antica bust, the iconography of the reverse, the Greek
captions, and, more generally speaking, the “noble simplicity” of this
medal are elements which testify to the new taste in Marcello Venuti’s
Florentine circle: a neo-antique taste, which had matured in the shadow
of letterati keen on Plato and Greek philosophers, as Marcello’s
master, Anton Maria Salvini, one of the great Hellenists of his time,
deceased in 1729, had advocated.
More generally speaking, when considering that it was in Florence,
between 1755 and 1758, that such innovative and stunning portraits
could be made – as the one of the physician Antonio Cocchi, the curator
of the grand-ducal collections and one of the most famous free-masons
in town, by Joseph Wilton, or the black fighter in pietra di paragone
by Francis Harwood, one realizes that the place of Florence in the
birth of European neo-classicism is worth reconsidering.
Philosophers, artists, aristocrats and dandies
We do not know what happened to the bust by Marcus Meijers when
Marcello Venuti, elected the following year Gran Conservatore of the
Order of Saint Stephen in Pisa, went and greeted Gian Gastone’s alleged
successor to the throne, Charles of Bourbon, in Antibes, following
afterwards the latter’s trajectory to Naples, where the young king
triumphantly entered on the 10th of May 1734. This effigy
reappeared in Paris in 2004 at the Biennale des Antiquaires. I had not
found any trace of it in the Archives of the Etruscan Academy of
Cortona, where most of the Marcello Venuti Papers are preserved.
Nevertheless Pablo Vasquez-Gestal recently drew my attention towards a
photographic reproduction without any caption in an article by Virgilio
Catalano published in 1955.
The bust is far from having unveiled all its secrets. Be that as it
may, this bust does not seem to have aroused emulators in either
Florence or in Naples, where Marcello lived six years, discovering,
among other things, the ruins of the theatre of Herculaneum, before
retiring for good in Cortona in June 1740.
It was rather the display of ancient herm busts coming both from the
old Vatican collections and the acquisition of Cardinal Alessandro
Albani’s first collection in the galleries of the new Capitol Museum,
which were installed around 1740, and above all the extraordinary finds
made in the 1770s in the vicinity of Tivoli, which drew the artists and
patrons’s attention to this type of portraits.
Winckelmann did not linger on it either in the first edition of his
Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums, published in 1764. One therefore
had to wait fifty years or so after Marcello Venuti and Marcus Meijers,
that is around 1778-1780, before Houdon unearthed the herm bust again
for an all’antica posthumous bronze bust of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (fig.
4), now in the Louvre, which was probably circulated with a matching
piece representing Voltaire, made in 1781.
Smaller and more naturalistic than Venuti’s one, Rousseau’s effigy was
realized after his death-mask; he wears the headband of philosophers
and is wrapped in the cloak that was their attribute. Like antique
models, the cloak rolling up around the neck hangs down on the front,
letting the chlamys appear. Obviously, during his Roman stay, Houdon
must have carefully observed the herms at the Capitol, the engraved
images of which had nevertheless been available since 1741, when the
first volume of Bottari’s Museo Capitolino was published. The fact that
bronze was chosen as a material might also testify to the influence of
the busts from Herculaneum and Pompei; as a matter of fact the volume
of the Antichità d’Ercolano esposte devoted to bronze sculptures was
published in 1767, but only few privileged people could have these
books at their disposal, for King Ferdinando did not permit them to be
sold. From Marcello Venuti to Rousseau, the herm bust was assimilated
therefore to portraits of philosophers and men of letters of Grecian
Antiquity, but without breaking a more than restrained circle of happy
few. But something was changing.
Around 1783, Gavin Hamilton, a Scots painter living in Rome and
making a fortune as a purveyor of antique marbles, chose to be
portrayed in a beautiful white marble herm bust by the Irish sculptor
Christopher Hewetson (fig. 5). With the chest part of the bust bigger
than in the preceding two works and a bent head, this portrait, known
in two examples, was probably meant for a high fixed console.
There are no doubts about the ancient models it drew upon, such as a
splendid herm depicting Antisthenes (fig. 6), found in the Academy of
Villa Adriana at Tivoli in the first half of the 18th century and bought by Pius VI in 1777 for the Museo Pio Clementino.
One of the better known figures on the Roman market of antiquities in
the last quarter of the Settecento, Gavin Hamilton also associated then
his effigy with those of ancient philosophers. Was it because he loved
Greek philosophy? –in his youth, he studied ancient Greek at the
University of Glasgow. Or was an aesthetic interest for that abstract
schema with refined geometric lines breaking out?
The fact is that, two years later, the Spanish ambassador to the
Holy See, José Nicolas de Azara, who owned one of the most beautiful
collections of antique herm busts found in the excavations he himself
had financed at Tivoli since 1779, had himself portrayed in a double
herm in order to celebrate his friendship and admiration towards Anton
Raphael Mengs (fig. 7).
This little biscuit with a greenish patina recalling buried marbles is
28 cm high; the two faces derive from busts moulded by Hewetson in
1779, now in Dresden. A work of the factory that Giovanni Volpato had
just opened near Santa Pudenziana, this double herm testifies as much
to the antiquarian fever of the patron as to his taste for the new
classicizing style of which Mengs, who died in 1779, had been one of
the paladins. To my mind, it also pays homage to an exceptional piece
in the Capitoline collections, the double herm depicting Epicurus and
Metrodoros (fig. 8) discovered in December 1742 in the foundations of
the new portico of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. This intimate
bust, in which the two portraits are rendered far more to resemble each
other – through hairstyle, among other things – inaugurated a very
profitable activity for Giovanni Volpato’s factory, as it became famous
for its reproductions of antique works intended for the public of the
As commemoration, the herm type was successful in Paris too with
young Chaudet. At the Salon of 1795, he showed an interior cenotaph
(fig. 9) in which a seated woman was grasping the portrait of her
husband on top of a hermaic pillar, thus returning to the origins of
the genre. When you think it over carefully, it would seem that at the end of the 18th
century, in Rome as well as in Paris, the revival of the herm bust
could not emerge without an archaeological antecedent. Contrary to the
impressions one gets when looking at the Volpato piece ordered by
Minister Azara, when you see the copies after the antique made in
biscuit in Naples by the Real Fabbrica Ferdinandea under Filippo
Tagliolini from 1785 on, you feel much unease (fig. 10).
Cut on the front and reduced on the back so as to be put on socles,
these herms have been completely denatured and transformed into generic
all’antica busts. If originally these portraits stood quite naturally
by themselves, in the reduced version, they need three external
elements, namely the index tabula, the socle and a square base. Was the
herm type deemed too severe for decorative objects of such a small
size? It is a fact that they preferred to match them with the other
biscuits of the series, all of them being equipped with socles.
At the beginning of the following century, in his Household and
Interior Decoration, Thomas Hope, the apostle of Regency style,
recommended to put herm busts directly on top of mantelpieces, taking
as an example one that Flaxman made for Hope’s brother Henry Philip in
1802-03 (fig. 11).
He celebrated matter of fact frontality as the only possible choice for
a sculpted portrait – not to betray the true to life quality of the
face, and to respect a certain “dignified simplicity”. “I shall beg to
add – he writes – that the Grecian method of cutting the chest square,
and placing its whole mass immediately on a term or other solid support
seems much preferable to the more prevailing Roman fashion of rounding
off that chest, and balancing its center only on a slender and
tottering pivot.” After a long oblivion, the cause of the herm bust hadstrong and vocal advocates.
A new effigy of power
During the revolutionary years, under the influence of the cult of
famous men, little by little the herm effigy eventually asserted itself
as a reference formula for busts of politicians, philosophers and
poets. And this was the case in the whole of Europe.
The echo sounded by the unearthing of the herm of Alexander the Great
in the Azara excavations and of that of Pericles in neighbouring areas
explored on behalf of the Camera Apostolica no doubt contributed to
such a success.
Pericles’ bust, put on display in the Pio Clementino in 1781, had been
celebrated by the poet Vincenzo Monti two years earlier, at the time of
its discovery in Tivoli, in a poem, the Prosopopea di Pericle,
dedicated to Pope Pius VI; during the short-lived Roman Republic of
1798-1799, some lines of it were recited as an hymn to liberty restored.
As for Alexander’s herm, acknowledged as the only reliable likeness of
the great conqueror, Azara – who was now living as an exile in Paris –
presented it to the Premier Consul, in 1803.
In September of that same year, Bonaparte gave the bust to the Gallery
of Antiquities of the Musée Napoléon. It was clear that, in Antiquity,
the herm type had not been restricted to men of letters: it was then
adopted for the great hero of the time, who was himself madly
enthusiastic about the effigies of famous men of ancient Graeco-Roman
civilization, so much so that he ordered a catalogue of them made by
Ennio Quirino Visconti, a prominent exile who was in charge of the
Gallery of Antiquities.
Chaudet was the first to deliver a herm bust of Napoleon (fig. 12),
as early as the summer of 1804, hardly a month after the Empire was
Impassive, with a blank gaze, his locks stuck on the forehead, his
first name engraved on the front of the herm, the French Emperor
appears as a timeless figure. Reproduced many times in various
materials, this effigy soon asserted itself as the image of the new
sovereign, who had not ordered this portrait yet did not do anything to
prevent its dissemination. This effigy, both idealized and energetic,
was perfect as an icon of power, which wishes to be all the more
reassuring as it is more authoritative. In a portrait of Laetitia Murat
painted by Jeanne-Élisabeth Chaudet-Husson – the sculptor’s wife – in
1806, today in Fontainebleau (fig. 13), the child is even appropriating
the bust to put it among her toys.
As an image of absolute power the herm bust made its way in the
world; many were the sculptors who drew their inspiration from
Chaudet’s effigy for other busts of the Emperor, in France as well as
in Italy, or in Flanders, as can be verified by dropping into the
catalogue compiled by Gérard Hubert and Guy Ledoux-Lebard.
Among all these busts, Houdon’s magnificent terracotta (fig. 14) stands
out. It is an exceptional result of the sittings at the Château of
Saint-Cloud, which the artist had managed to obtain doubtless thanks to
Denon’s mediation. This bust should have been nothing but the first
rough shape of a colossal statue that was meant to surmount the column
of the military camp in Boulogne-sur-Mer, but the statue was never
created and the terracotta remained in the sculptor’s studio.
Exhibited at the Salon of 1806 and acknowledged as a very good
likeness, this portrait, with its magical gaze and an almost
supernatural beauty, is a skilful mixture of ancient models – for old
Houdon adapted the herm formula to the characteristics of one of the
most beautiful portraits of Augustus (fig. 15) which had been seized in
Palazzo Bevilacqua in Verona and was at that time to be found in the
Galeries des Antiques.
As a matter of fact, the band, which encircles the emperor’s head, is
knotted on the nape of the neck and hangs down on the front in two
small strings on the shoulders – it is a recreation of the bands
ornating Augustus’ corona civica in the portrait now in the Glyptothek
in Munich – an effigy which represents Augustus as the father of the
country and not as an emperor.
It took therefore three centuries since the first discoveries in
Tivoli of ancient examples for the herm bust to become a formula for
modern busts. Doubtless too archaic and too abstract, excluding all
kinds of attributes except evocations of garments, it could not be
adapted to the representation of heroes such as the princes of the
Renaissance. Unthinkable in the 17th century, which would
not have stood such restraint, it was rediscovered in an extremely
cultured circle in Florence in the 1720s-1730s, yet Marcello Venuti’s
bust, of an utmost singularity, could be displayed only in a private
study. Only when the vogue for the antique and the neo-antique reached
its climax among foreign circles in Rome was the herm bust rediscovered
by some amateurs, little by little. From that moment on, around the
middle of the 1780s, it turned into a must in the learned European
elite, becoming a symbol of neo-classical art in the 19th
century. At that time, in a Germany so keen on Greek culture, one could
erect sanctuaries honouring famous men, such as the Walhalla designed
by Klenzenear Regensburg (1827-1842)or the Ruhmeshalle in Munich –
completed in 1853, but the plan for which was brewing since the 1810s.
The Walhalla celebrates the great men – and a few women – who brought
fame to German civilisation, whereas the Ruhmeshalle is a monument to
the great men of Bavaria, Franconia and Swabia. In these
monumentsdozens of marble herm portraits are perched on consoles, as
must have been the case in Hadrian’s Academy in his Villa at Tivoli.
Figura - Studi sull'Immagine nella Tradizione Classica, nº 2, 2014.
** I have had the opportunity
to discuss the content of this article first during a seminar at Villa
Medici in Rome in March 2009, then during conferences given at the
Université libre in Brussels (March 2009) and at the Getty Research
Institute in Los Angeles (May 2009). I wish to thank the friends and
colleagues for their precious suggestions. I also wish to express my
gratitude towards the late Patrick Bellanger and towards Todd
 All these
elements derive from M. Kätzlmeier-Frank: Theodor Galles Zeichnungen zu
Fulvio Orsinis Imagines. Der Codex Capponianus 228, Mûnster and Hamburg
1993, pp. 30-34; and C. Gasparri: ‘La collection d’antiques du cardinal
Ferdinand’, in A. Chastel and Ph. Morel, ed.: La Villa Médicis, II,
Études, Rome 1991, pp. 450-51. But see also E. Voutiras: ‘Imagines
virum illustrium. Problemi d’identificazione dei ritratti greci’,
Archeologia Classica, LX, n. s. 10 (2009), pp. 85-115.
 H. Wrede:
‘Römische Antikenprogramme des 16. Jahrhunderts’, in M. Winner, B.
Andreæ and C. Pietrangeli, ed.: Il Cortile delle Statue. Der Statuenhof
des Belvedere im Vatikan. Akten des internationalen Kongresses zu Ehren
von Richard Krautheimer. Rom, 21-23. Oktober 1992, Mainz 1998, pp.
 The first
three volumes of the national edition of Pirro Ligorio’s manuscripts
were published only in 2005. See, for exemple, P. Ligorio: Libri degli
Antichi Eroi e Uomini Illustri, B. Palma Venetucci, ed., Rome 2005.
 On this phenomenon, see the masterly essay written by P. Falguières: Les Chambres des merveilles, Paris 2003.
 A. Statius:
Illustriumvirorum ut extant in Urbe expressi vultus, Rome 1569; and F.
Orsini: Imagines et Elogia Virorum Illustrium et Eruditorum ex antiquis
lapidibus et nomismatib. expressa cum annotationib. ex Bibliotheca
Fulvii Ursini, Rome 1570. On this collections, see, among others, B.
Palma Venetucci: ‘Gli Uomini Illustri : brevi considerazioni sui Codici
Torinesi’, in Eadem, ed.: Pirro Ligorio e le erme di Roma, Rome 1998,
 Th. Galle:
Illustrium Imagines ex antiquis marmoribus Nomismatibus, et Gemmis
expressæ : quæ extant Romæ, maior pars apud Fulvium Ursinum. Theodorus
Gallæus delineabat Romæ ex Archetypis, incidebat Antverpiæ, ex officina
Plantiniana sumptibus Theodori Gallæi, 1598 ; and J. Faber: Illustrium
Imagines ex antiquis marmoribus Nomismatibus, et Gemmis expressæ : quæ
extant Romæ, maior pars apud Fulvium Ursinum. Theodorus Gallæus
delineabat editio altera, aliquot Imaginibus, et I. Fabri ad singulas
commentario, auctior atque illustrior, Antwerp1606.
 A nice
specimen of this medal, the legend of which is in Greek and Latin, is
kept at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge: see L. Smolderen, in S. K.
Scher, ed.: The Currency of Fame: Portrait Medals of the Renaissance,
New York 1994, pp. 349-50, no. 157.
 « Flavio
P<h>ilostrato […] liberto di Tito Vespasiano, il quale fu
sophista, et come si vede, il suo termine era nella sua casa Cæliana
nell’Esquilie, con quelle parole scritte nel petto […] ; la cui effigie
fu levata dalla sua forma di termine et ridutta in un petto da Fabritio
Romano et venduta. […] Ora del Philostrato liberto de’ Flavii fu
privato del suo nome da uno ignorante et sciocco scultoraccio et
venduto ad un altro secco anticario per la effigie di Lucio Ælio
Cesare : quantunque fusse diversa affatto dalla effigie di Ælio, la
quale si trova in medaglia et in marmo : cosa veramente ridicola, che
tanto possi la fortuna et il tempo, coll’avaritia et la ignoranza, in
questo secolo. Perciò che sendo tirato il scultoretto dal guadagno, non
sapendo di potere far miglior mercantia con la effigie del Philostrato,
la trasmutò a meglior suo proposito per un Cesare ; vendendolo, il
battezzò Ælio, veggendo che quello lo quale così lo comprò perché
voleva concordare la serie dell’imperadori. Oltre a questo quante teste
ha trovate di huomini di età et rasi di barba, tante n’ha trasmutate in
nella effigie di Cesare dittatore, talché le effigie de’ philosofi, che
non curavano vivi li imperii, si sono le loro memorie ammascherate
nelli imperadori istessi, mediante la falsità operante nell’avaritia di
coloro che fanno turpe guadagno. Questi poverelli, sendo dati al cavare
danari, hanno guastate non solo le effigie di quei che non hanno
conosciute et battezzateli a loro diporto, ma hanno rovinati infiniti
ornamenti di edificii per <ad>oprare quelle opere per marmo ; et
talvolta, anzi sempre, hanno guaste le più belle cose del mondo per
farne le più brutte. » Ligorio, op. cit. (note 3), p. 108 [cod.
Taurinensis 23, fol. 133].
 On this
milestone in the history of neoclassical portraiture, nowadays in
London, in the Todd Longstaffe-Gowan & Tim Knox Collection at
Malplaquet House, see D. Gallo: Modèle ou Miroir? Winckelmann et la
sculpture néoclassique, Paris 2008, pp. 26-27.
 See P.
Barocchi and D. Gallo, ed.: L’Accademia etrusca, exh. cat. Cortona
(Palazzo Casali) 1985; L. Del Bianco: ‘Sei lettere di Tanucci a due
corrispondenti toscani’, in Bernardo Tanucci e la Toscana. Tre giornate
di studio, Pisa, Stia, 28-30 settembre 1983, Florence 1986, pp. 116-38;
and Monica Maria Angeli: ‘Nuove lettere di Marcello Venuti in
Marucelliana’, Annuario dell’Accademia Etrusca, XXX (2002-03), pp.
Biblioteca del Comune e dell’Accademia etrusca, ms. 552, fol. 79,
« Disposizioni testamentarie di Domenico Girolamo Venuti, Firenze 1729,
8 novembre ». See also M. Gori Sassoli: ‘La Villa Venuti di Catrosse a
Cortona. Notizie e documenti’, Annuario dell’Accademia etrusca di
Cortona, XXI (1984), pp. 7-8. On Domenico Girolamo, see also T. Venuti
De Dominicis : I Venuti, Rome 1889, pp. 20-21; and G. Mancini:
Contributo dei Cortonesi alla cultura italiana, Florence 1922, p. 128.
 For Marcello Venuti’s date of birth, see Cortona, Biblioteca del Comune e dell’Accademia etrusca, ms. 551.
 On this
bust, today in the Bode Museum in Berlin, see especially Ph.
Sénéchal: ‘«Attaché entièrement à l’Antiquité et à mon caprice»: Die
Büste des Barons Philipp von Stosch von Edme Bouchardon’, in U.
Fleckner, M. Schieder and M. F. Zimmermann, ed.: Jenseits der Grenzen:
Französische und deutsche Kunst vom Ancien Régime bis zur Gegenwart.
Thomas W. Gaehtgens zum 60. Geburtstag, Köln 2000, I, Inszenierung der
Dynastien, pp. 136-48; and D. Gallo: ΄Gli scultori francesi e le
antichità romane’, in L. Norci Cagiano de Azevedo, ed.: Roma
triumphans? L’attualità dell’antico nella Francia del Settecento, atti
del convegno internazionale (Roma, Centro di Studi italo-francesi e
Musei Capitolini, Sala di Pietro da Cortona, 9-11 marzo 2006), Rome
2007, pp. 278-83.
 F. Borroni
Salvadori: ΄Marcus Tuscher, artista norico fra la Toscana e Roma’, in
Miscellanea di studi in memoria di Anna Saitta Revignas, Florence 1978,
 As it was
well proved by M. Baker, C. Harrison and A. Laing: ΄Bouchardon’s
British sitters: sculptural portraiture in Rome and the classicising
bust around 1730’, The Burlington Magazine (December 2000), pp. 752-62.
written from Florence on the 20th of December 1740: Cortona, Biblioteca
del Comune e dell’Accademia etrusca, ms. 552, fol. 129.
 « […]
ritenne i precetti dell’Arte Oratoria, e della Poetica ; indi a più
seri studi applicandosi valicò il corso di un’intricata Filosofia,
dalla quale singolare penetrazione, ed acutezza d’ingegno acquistò,
dote che nel resto del suo vivere fu in lui oggetto di maraviglia. »
Elogio del marchese Cavaliere Niccolò Marcello Venuti primo fondatore
della nobile Accademia etrusca detto in Cortona nella solenne Adunanza
di detta Accademia tenuta nel Palazzo Pubblico della Città il dì 22.
Agosto 1755 da Girolamo Boni Gentiluomo Cortonese e accademico Etrusco,
 Besides the
reference mentioned note 14, see especially F. Borroni Salvadori: ‘Le
Esposizioni d’arte a Firenze dal 1674-1767’, Mitteilungen des
Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, XVIII (1974), no.1, pp.
1-165; Eadem: ‘Francesco Maria Niccolò Gabburri e gli artisti
contemporanei’, Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Classe
di Lettere e Filosofia, IIIth series, IV, 4 (1974), pp. 1503-55; and
Eadem: ‘Tra la fine del granducato e la reggenza: Filippo Stosch a
Firenze’, Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Classe di
Lettere e Filosofia, IIIth series (1978), pp. 565-614. For a more
recent assessment, see J. Boutier and M. P. Paoli: ‘Letterati cittadini
e principi filosofi. I milieux intellettuali fiorentini tra Cinque e
Settecento’, in J. Boutier, B. Marin and A. Romano, ed.: Naples, Rome,
Florence. Une histoire comparée des milieux intellectuels italiens
(XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles), Rome 2005, pp. 331-403. See also the very
rewarding essay by M. P. Paoli: ‘Anton Maria Salvini (1653-1729). Il
ritratto di un « letterato » nella Firenze di fine Seicento’, ibidem,
Ciuffoletti: ‘Per la storia della massoneria in Toscana’, in Idem, ed.:
Le origini della massoneria in Toscana (1730-1890), Foggia 1989, pp.
 Ibid., p.
9-23; F. Bertini: ‘La massoneria in Toscana dall’età dei Lumi alla
Restaurazione’, in Z. Ciuffoletti, ed.: Le origini della massoneria in
Toscana, cit. (note 19), pp. 43-71 ; and A. M. Morelli Timpanaro: Per
una storia di Andrea Bonducci (Firenze, 1715-1766). Lo stampatore, gli
amici, le loro esperienze culturali e massoniche, Rome 1996, pp. 131-36.
 F. Borroni
Salvadori : ‘Francesco Maria Niccolò Gabburri… ‘, cit. (note 18), p.
1519 indicates instead 7th December 1732 as hisdate of death.
 SeeG. De Lorenzi, in P. Barocchi and D. Gallo, ed.: op. cit. (note 10), p. 172-173, no. 163.
 M. P. Paoli: op. cit. (note 18), p. 520.
 On this two
busts, see, lately, M. Trusted: The Return of the Gods. Neoclassical
Sculpture in Britain, exh. cat. London (Tate Britain) 2008, p. 27,
no.13 and p. 34, no. 26 ; D. Gallo: op.cit. (note 9), pp. 23-24 and
39-41 ; and G. Scherf, in G. Faroult, Chr. Leribault and G. Scherf,
ed. : L’Antiquité rêvée. Innovations et résistances au XVIIIe siècle,
exh. cat. Paris (musée du Louvre) 2010, pp. 400-01, no. 133.
Catalano: ‘Marcello Venuti’, Nostro Tempo, IV, 12 (1955), p.n.n. I am
very grateful to Pablo Vasquez-Gerdal for this kind indication.
 See the commented list published by B. Palma Venetucci, ed.: Le Erme tiburtine e gli scavi del Settecento, Rome 1992.
 G. Scherf : Houdon 1741-1828. Statues, portraits sculptés …, Paris 2006, pp. 86-89, no. 14, and pp. 201-02, no. 41.
 A specimen
is kept at the musée des Beaux-arts in Marseille, whereas the second
one, ordered by Sir William Hamilton, was given to the Hunterian Museum
in Glasgow by the diplomat’s nephew, Charles Granville, in 1861. See I.
Bignamini, in A. Wilton and I. Bignamini, ed.: Grand Tour. Il fascino
dell’Italia nel XVIII secolo, exh. cat. Rome (Palazzo delle
Esposizioni) 1997, p. 223, no. 161 and 162 ; and M. G. Barberini, in A.
Lo Bianco and A. Negro, ed.: Il Settecento a Roma, exh. cat. Rome
(Palazzo Venezia) 2005-06, p. 162, no. 45. On Gavin Hamilton, see
henceforth A. Cesareo: ‘Gavin Hamilton (1723-1798) : «A gentleman of
probity, knowledge and real taste»’, Saggi e memorie di storia
dell’arte, 26 (2003), pp. 211-322.
 A. Di Leo, in B. Palma Venetucci, ed.: op. cit. (note 26), pp. 292-93.
 On this
double herm kept at the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, see especially J.
Jordán de Urríes y de la Colina : ‘El diplomático José Nicolás de
Azara, protector de las bellas artes y las letras’, Boletin del Museo e
Instituto ‘Camón Aznar’, LXXXI (2000,) pp. 61-87 (esp. pp. 71-72); S.
Roettgen: Mengs. La scoperta del Neoclassico, exh. cat. Padova (Palazzo
Zabarella) and Dresden (Schloß) 2001, pp. 118-19, no. 11; and G.
Scherf, in S. Allard, G. Scherf et alii, ed.: Portraits publics
portraits privés 1770-1830, exh. cat. Paris (Galeries nationales du
Grand Palais), London (The Royal Academy of Arts) and New York (The
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) 2006-07, pp. 262-63, no. 93. On the
excavations made for Azara, see B. Cacciotti, in B. Palma Venetucci,
ed.: op. cit. (note 26), pp. 177-221.
 Restored by Clemente Bianchi and Bartolomeo Cavaceppi, this double herm from the beginning of the 2nd
century A. D. was given to the museum by Benedict XIV. It is kept in
the Gallery of Philosophers. See M. G. Picozzi, in A. Lo Bianco and A.
Negro, ed.: op. cit. (note 28), p. 293, no. 193. On the Volpato
factory, see, among others, C. Teolato: ‘ La manifattura romana di
Giovanni Volpato’, in H. Honour, ed.: I Trionfi di Volpato. Il
centrotavola del Museo di Bassano del Grappa e il biscuit neoclassico,
Cinisello Balsamo 2003, pp. 57- 121; A. González-Palacios: ‘Souvenirs
de Rome’, in A. d’Agliano and L. Melegati, ed.: Ricordi dell’Antico.
Sculture, porcellane e arredi all’epoca del Grand Tour, exh. cat. Rome
(Musei Capitolini) 2008, pp. 43-48; and L. Melagati: ‘Giovanni Volpato
e il cantiere romano’, ibidem, pp. 104-13.
 This marble
is now kept in Paris, at the musée des Arts décoratifs. See G. Scherf,
in S. Allard, G. Scherf etalii, ed.: op. cit. (note 30), p. 179, no. 56.
 See, for
instance, O. Falco and J. Papadopoulos, in A. Caròla Perrotti, ed.: Le
Porcellane dei Borbone di Napoli. Capodimonte e Real Fabbrica
Ferdinandea 1742-1806, exh. cat. Naples (Museo Archeologico Nazionale)
1986-87, pp. 514-17, no. 476-82.
 On the
other hand, Volpato realized groups of complete herms – i. e. with
their stone posts -, intended for surtouts and with biscuit leaves and
fruit garlands to link them together. See L. Melegati, in H. Honour,
ed.: op. cit. (note 31), p. 270, no. 36.
Furniture and Interior Decoration Executed from Designs by Thomas Hope,
London 1807, pl. L. This bust by Flaxman is now kept in Copenhagen, at
the Thorvaldsens Museum: see D. Bindman, in D. Watkin and Ph.
Hewat-Jaboor, ed.: Thomas Hope Regency Designer, exh. cat. London
(Victoria and Albert Museum) and New York (The Bard Graduate Center for
Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture) 2008, pp. 274-75,
 Th. Hope, Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807, p. 120, quoted by David Bindman, op.cit. (note 34), p. 275.
 See, for
instance, Abbot Raynal by Espercieux (1790), Mirabeau by Lucas de
Montigny (exhibited at the 1791 Salon), Friedrich Gilly by Johann
Gottfried Schadow (1801, Berlin, Akademie der Künste) or Montesquieu by
 B. Cacciotti, in B. Palma Venetucci, ed.: op.cit. (note 26), pp. 187-90, no. 1 (Alexander) and pp. 259-61, no. 12 (Pericles).
 In a
biscuit produced by the Volpato factory, probably made in 1786-98 ca.
and today at the Museo Civico d’Arte Antica in Turin, Pius VI is shown
standing up and leaning at the Pericles herm restored in its primitive
state, i. e. with his complete stone post. See L. Melegati, in A.
d’Agliano and L. Melegati, ed.: op. cit. (note 31), pp. 232-33, no.
100; and G. Spinola and A. Imbellone, in C. Brook and W. Curzi, ed.:
Roma e l’antico. Realtà e visione nel Settecento, exh. cat. Rome
(Fondazione Roma Museo, Palazzo Sciarra) 2010-11, pp. 406-07, no. II.22
lately, L. Laugier, in S. Descamps-Lequime and K. Charatzopoulou, ed.:
Au royaume d’Alexandre le Grand. La Macédoineantique, exh. cat. Paris
(musée du Louvre) 2011-12, p. 646, no. 411.
commission was given in the Winter of 1803. See D. Gallo: ‘L’ideologia
imperiale e l’Iconographie Ancienne di Ennio Quirino Visconti’, in
Ideologie e patrimonio storico-culturale nell’età rivoluzionaria e
napoleonica. A proposito del trattato di Tolentino. Atti del Convegno
(Tolentino, 18-21 settembre 1997), Rome 2000, pp. 55-77.
 G. Hubert and G. Ledoux-Lebard: Napoléon. Portraits contemporains bustes et statues, Paris 1999, pp. 79-87.
 In fact a
deposit from the Malmaison. See, lately, O. Scognamiglio: I Dipinti di
Gioacchino e Carolina Murat. Storia di una collezione, Naples and Rome
2008, p. 46.
 Op. cit. (note 42), pp. 94-111.
 Thisbust is
now kept at the musée des Beaux-arts in Dijon. See G. Hubert and G.
Ledoux-Lebard, op. cit. (note 42), pp. 112-17; and G. Scherf, op. cit.
(note 27), pp. 333-37, no. 64.
Vierneisel and P. Zanker, Die Bildnisse des Augustus. Herrscherbild und
Politik im Kaiserlichen Rom, exh. cat. Munich (Glyptothek) and Berlin
(Antikenmuseum) 1978-79, pp. 60-61, no. 5.9 and p. 93, no. 10. 1.