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Bacchus: C.5-1915

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)




Factory: Wedgwood
Sculptor: Michelangelo Buonarroti (After)




Black basalt. Bacchus stands on an oval straight-sided base beside a tree trunk. He stands on his left leg with right relaxed, holding a wine cup up to his lips with his right hand and his left by his side holding in the hand a goatskin which falls down over the trunk and has two bunches of grapes protruding from it.


History note: Collection of Swann Hurrell, 30 Thompson’s Lane, Cambridge and from 1891, St Leonard’s (d. 1897); his niece, Miss Emily Beales, ‘Hurrell’, St Leonard’s on Sea

Legal notes

Given by Miss Emily Beales

Measurements and weight

Height: 27.4 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Etruria ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1915-06-26) by Beales, Emily, Miss


18th Century, Late-19th Century, Early#
Circa 1780 CE - 1825 CE


This model was derived from the marble by Michelangelo (1475-1564), carved for Jacopo Galli c. 1497-8, and now in the Museo Nazionale, Florence (Documentation, Pope-Hennessy, 1970). The London plaster makers, Hoskins and Oliver, supplied Wedgwood with a Bacchus in 1770 (Invoice 2-30950, May 1770), but it is not clear whether it was for this figure or the Bacchus after Sansovino (MAR.C.7-1912). Both were listed in 'A Catalogue of cameos, intaglios, medals and bas-reliefs; with a general account of vases and other ornaments, after the antique, made by Wedgwood & Bentley', London, 1773 (not available in the museum). They are also mentioned in the Wedgwood & Bentley Catalogue . . . . 5th edn, 1779, p. 51 under Class XII, Section II, no. '8 Bacchus, from Sansovino, 11 inches.' and '9 Ditto, from Michael Angelo, 11 inches.', an inch or so larger than the figures in the Fitzwilliam.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

Black basalt

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Black basalt, moulded

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: WEDGWOOD
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.5-1915
Primary reference Number: 11169
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 15 December 2023 Last processed: Friday 15 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Bacchus" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-29 14:53:05

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{{cite web|url= |title=Bacchus |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-29 14:53:05|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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