Thomas Coulborn & Sons’ rare marble sculpture of Venus by Nost the Elder sold to the V&A
11th April 2012
Thomas Coulborn & Sons are delighted to announce the sale of The Crouching Venus by John Nost the Elder to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
In November 2011, Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, placed a temporary export bar on the sculpture, providing a last chance to raise the money to keep the sculpture in the United Kingdom. The Minister’s ruling followed a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, administered by Arts Council England. The Committee recommended that the export decision be deferred on the grounds that the sculpture is of outstanding significance for the study of English sculpture in the 18th century.
Lord Inglewood, Chairman of the Reviewing Committee, said: “This impressive and compelling figure of the goddess Venus is an important example of one of the earliest versions in England of an antiquity in marble, made for a British client.”
In March 2012, the V&A confirmed they had raised the necessary funds to buy the white marble sculpture, which dates from 1702 and depicts the nude goddess Venus with her arms crossed, head turned to the right and half kneeling on a rectangular base. The figure is based on an antique prototype known as The Crouching Venus and may have been modelled on an antique work in the Royal Collection. It is a rare surviving example of a classical subject in marble carved by the Netherlandish sculptor John Nost the Elder (d. 1710) working in England.
The Umberslade Venus is now on display in the Sculpture Gallery at the V&A (see images below).
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