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This fine bust is a copy of the marble bust 'Apollo Belvedere' by C. Delpech, now in the British Museum. It was commissioned by the Art Union of London, an organisation established in 1836 for the encouragement of British artists and the improvement of public taste. The marble bust is itself a copy of the head of the Apollo Belvedere or Apollo of the Belvedere—also called the Pythian Apollo— which is a marble sculpture in the Vatican museums. The Vatican figure is thought to be a Roman copy of an earlier Greek bronze statue.
A number of Parian manufacturers made copies of the Delpech bust. Copeland was commissioned to manufacture Parian busts after Delpech for the Art Union of London and it is possible that this bust is by Copeland although not so marked.
The bust is illustrated on page 198 of Roberts Copeland’s book “Parian - Copeland’s Statuary Porcelain”, fig B2, where he states that though unmarked and unreferenced in the Copeland archives, the quality of the statue suggests it is from the Copeland manufactory. The V&A has a copy of this Parian Apollo which they state is by Copeland.
The Parian Phenomenon has a picture of an example with Art Union markings by Brown-Westhead, Moore and Co (p 240, fig 797) and this is another likely manufacturer.
Height 33cm (13”)
Condition: this bust is in excellent condition. There is a 0.8cm firing line under the curls at the back of the head.