Marble figure of Apollo Playing his Lyre

A CARVED MARBLE FIGURE OF APOLLO PLAYING HIS LYRE.

French.

Late 17th Century.

 On an integrally carved oval plinth.

Provenance: 

Possibly acquired by Charles Edward Montagu, 1st Duke of Manchester (d. 1722 and by descent at Kimbolton Castle, Huntingdonshire

Alexander Montagu, 10th Duke of Manchester, OBE (1902-1977), until sold

Knight, Frank & Rutley, A catalogue of the English Period Furniture at Kimbolton Castle Huntingdonshire, 20 July 1949, lot 778, ‘A sculptured white marble figure of Apollo with his lyre, 3ft. 4 in. high’.

 Literature:

  1. Houfe, Sir Albert Richardson, The Professor, Luton, 1980, p.217.

The present marble figure of Apollo represents the god playing his lyre and, like his more famous counterpart the Apollo Belvedere, with a snake writhing up from the base, a reference to the python which he slew.  Apollo, who drove his chariot across the sky drawing the sun behind it, was a favourite symbol for the great patron of the arts Louis XIV, known to posterity as the Sun King and, as such, was often represented in French art of the period.

Formerly in the collection of the Dukes of Manchester at Kimbolton Castle, this marble may have been purchased by Charles Edward Montagu, the 1st Duke (d. 1722).  Montagu was a Whig supporter of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and in 1699 was sent as ambassador to France, where it is possible that he purchased the Apollo.

Height: 38 ¼” (97.5cm)

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