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A CARVED MARBLE BUST OF A MAN, PROBABLY LORD GRANVILLE LEVESON-GOWER
A CARVED MARBLE BUST OF A MAN, PROBABLY LORD GRANVILLE LEVESON-GOWER

BY JOSEPH NOLLEKENS (1737-1823), 1810

Details
A CARVED MARBLE BUST OF A MAN, PROBABLY LORD GRANVILLE LEVESON-GOWER BY JOSEPH NOLLEKENS (1737-1823), 1810 On a circular marble socle; signed 'Nollekens 1810' to the reverse 22½ in. (57.2 cm.) high; 27 in. (69 cm.) high, overall

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Lot Essay

Lord Granville Leveson-Gower (1773-1846), later created 1st Earl Granville, was a noted diplomat and the younger half-brother of William Leveson-Gower, Marquess of Stratford and later 1st Duke of Sutherland. The latter was a patron of the arts who inherited the Orleans Collection and was described by Charles Greville as 'the richest individual who ever lived'.
There is a marble bust in the Yale Centre for British Art that is also thought to represent Granville Leveson-Gower (B1983.12), which is signed and dated 1810, and was previously exhibited at the Royal Academy, London. The two busts share many facial features although the sitter in the YCBA bust is facing to dexter - the opposite of the present bust - and, unlike the YCBA bust, the drapery of the current bust is held by a clasp on the proper right shoulder.
The heroic pose of the sitter of the current bust, dressed elaborately all' antica is characteristic of Nollekens' portraiture. The artist took great care in depicting every sinuous contour to the eyes, cheeks and chin of the sitter which has given the bust a powerful sense of realism.

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