Grand Tour Carved Alabaster Statue of Veiled Lady with Book

Regular price $225.00

This one! (Forgive the poor photos, I find it so difficult to photograph near-white.)

I am pretty certain this veiled lady is Grand Tour Italian (meaning, essentially, made as a souvenir for young aristocrats of the 18th and 19th c. making cultural tours of Europe and collecting along the way.) Classically inspired carved Italian marble sculptures of veiled figures had become popular in the 18th century, in significant part as a means for sculptors to show off their skills, and reached the height of their popularity in the form of veiled vestal virgins in the mid 19th c. around the time of the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace. I believe this one dates to the late 19th c. and was born of that trend. There was a strong connection between these veiled ladies and the Italian unification movement (Risorgimento)--with obfuscated features, she represented a sort of ideal akin to Lady Liberty or Britannia. And indeed, holding a book here (I have not found other examples doing the same) perhaps this veiled lady is exactly that, conflating Italia and Lady Liberty herself. Of course now one might read her in all sorts of ways, including perhaps as a holder of great wisdom she is keeping to herself! She also makes me think of the all of the carved marble books of the 19th into early 20th c--here with a full blown statue to which the book is attached! Pretty fabulous I think.

 13 3/4" t x 6 3/4" w x 4 1/4" d; weighs just over 8 pounds. Good condition, with a bit of loss to the hand holding the book, and a bit of darkening to the stone here and there.