A Large Early 19thC Grand Tour Bronze of the Tiber Apollo c.1800

Origin: Italian
Period: Early 19thC
Provenance: Ex Charles Crodel (1894-1973)
Date: c.1800
Height: 22.5”
Width: 7.5”
Depth: 4.5”

The beautifully verdigris patinated bronze of the so called Tiber Apollo, showing the naked Apollo in the classical style with long hair held by fillet and falling on the shoulders in corkscrew curls, the whole surviving from Grand Tour Italy.

In good overall condition the statue has not had any restoration or cleaning taken to it with a superb verdigris and some soil adhesions present. There are a series of drilled holes to the statue as photographed.

The Tiber Apollo is usually considered to be a Roman copy of an early Classical Greek original and it certainly has the dignity, relaxed muscularity and downturned head favoured by many Roman Emperors in their patronage of art. Stylistic analysis is hampered by the poor condition of the sculpture as it was in many incomplete pieces when found at the bottom of the River Tiber in 1885. The turn of the head and the angle of the left shoulder suggest he held something in his left hand; if it is Apollo, perhaps a laurel branch or a bow. It is conserved in the Museo Nazionale Romano in Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome.

Painter, stained glass artist, and printmaker Charles Crodel was born in 1894 in Mareseille.  His family moved to Germany and he studied at the University of Jena and was a member of the board of the Jena-Union, the famed forum of the Bauhaus. He became a close friend of the artist Gerhard Marcks. His prints were acquired in the 1920s by the National Gallery, Berlin and the Bibliothèque National, Paris. He was also an avid collector of antiques, especially metalware, antiquities, bronzes and dolls and this piece was part of his collection.

Throughout the early period of the nineteenth century the 'Grand Tour' was becoming popular among young nobles. Many young men (and later, young women) were travelling to Italy and Greece seeing the marvels of classical design for themselves and becoming inspired to bring that same sense of classical style and proportion back to Britain. Visit Europe today and you are likely to come home with tasteless souvenirs whereas in the 18th century, the great age of the large and imposing country house, folk returned and transformed the decor and furnishings of their families’ country seats with their acquisitions with many became insatiable collectors.

A bronze of rare large proportions for its type, with a stunning patina.