Dionysus in Marble and on Paper: Looking at the Culture of Collecting and Changing Practices in Conservation, Catharine O’Shaughnessy
During the eighteenth-century, many aristocrats collected ancient stone sculptures from Italy and Greece, for installation in their grand residences. The majority of these sculptures were restored (sometimes heavily so). This essay will examine two artefacts representing the Greek god Dionysus. The first is a drawing of a Roman statue by the sculptor Bartolomeo Cavaceppi, after restoration by him for the English collector Lord Lansdowne. The second is a fragment (torso) of that statue, which was de-restored at some unknown point in the last seventy-five years. Both artefacts are informative in regard to the culture of collecting during the eighteenth-century, and to changing approaches to conservation.