The terracotta head of the Ludovisi Juno offered here is a late 18th or early 19th century reproduction of the little-known, but highly evocative, antique marble housed in the Casino, or Palazzetto, in the Villa Ludovisi, Rome.
The prototype is eloquently described in a letter by Mrs. S. Hawthorne to her sister Elisabeth Peabody written while on a Grand Tour of Italy:
'In the inner room of the Casino is the far-famed Ludovisi Juno. The simplicity of this Juno--the absence of all attempt at effect, may strike one with surprise at its fame for the first moment, and lead one to prefer the other. Yet I was impressed immediately with the pure grandeur and majesty of this. It beams with a broad, steady, calm effulgence. Light tranquilly forms itself into this Queen of Olympus. The lines and curves are all as soft and round as a baby's, yet grand with intellect, and serene command. It seems to rise as one looks at it--to rise and unfold and bloom--a vast Lily of the White Bay, combining all the seven other rays--a thousand times Queen and Goddess. No effect is drawn from nobly arranged drapery; for it is the head only. The hair is folded away from the clear brow, and surmounted with a diadem, and from this a long curling tress hangs behind each ear. This Juno could never be angry. Eternal repose has crystallized into marble, yet it is also a controlling energy' (loc. cit.).