The Open UniversitySkip to content

The myth of return: restoration as reception in eighteenth-century Rome

Hughes, Jessica (2011). The myth of return: restoration as reception in eighteenth-century Rome. Classical Receptions Journal, 3(1) pp. 1–28.


This is the latest version of this eprint.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This article explores how themes and questions developed within the field of reception studies can be usefully applied to the study of the restoration of ancient sculpture. It focuses on a second-century AD statue which was restored at the very end of the eighteenth century by the Roman sculptor Giovanni Pierantoni and which is now in the collections of the Lady Lever gallery in Port Sunlight. This statue originally represented Antinous, but Pierantoni’s addition of a cup and jug turned the figure into Ganymede. Here I show how the restorer’s choices responded to contemporary trends in sculptural restoration, allegorical portraiture, and Catholic worshipper imagery; in particular, I argue that the myth of Zeus and Ganymede was newly configured to match a Christian model of interaction between mortal and divine.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 The Author
ISSN: 1759-5142
Keywords: roman sculpture restoration
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Art History, Classical Studies, English and Creative Writing, Music
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 28779
Depositing User: Jessica Hughes
Date Deposited: 17 May 2011 07:52
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2016 16:22
Share this page:

Available Versions of this Item


Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU