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Venus Verticordia

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Venus Verticordia


Gibson, John (sculptor) [ULAN info: British sculptor/medallist, 1790-1866]








White marble. Venus stands with her head slightly turned to the left, her hair is dressed in Hellenic fashion, and her left knee forward. Over her left wrist is a mantle, and she holds the apple awarded by Paris. On the base, on the viewer's right, there is a tortoise.

Production Notes

Commissioned by Joseph Neeld when he visited Rome, and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1838 (no. 1303). The name, Venus Verticordia (who turns the hearts of men) was given to the work by the sculptor, who subsequently made for copies.

Production Place

Rome (sculptor) (place)

Italy (sculptor) (country)

English (sculptor) (nationality)

Technique Description

white marble, carved in the round


height: (whole): 174.0 cm


mid 19th century


circa 1833 to 1838


given: The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum 1975-01-30 (Filtered for: Applied Arts collection)

Joseph Neeld; Captain L.W. Neeld; Mrs J. Bourne (née Celia Kathleen Mary Neeld); Christie's, 22 September, 1966, Catalogue of The Grittleton Marbles...p. 14, lot 14; sold to Perkins (600 guineas).

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


  1. signature
    Position: on tortoise
    Method: incised


  1. Christie, Manson & Woods (1966) The Grittleton Marbles. The Property of Mrs J. Bourne (Née Miss Celia Kathleen Mary Neeld). Formerly the Collection of the late Captain L. W. Neeld of Kelston Park and Grittleton, London: Christie, Manson & Woods [page: 14] 22 September 1966)
    [comments: Publ. p. 14, lot 14, illustrated pl. IV]
  2. (1976) Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The Annual Reports of the Syndicate and of the Friends of the Fitzwilliam for the Year ending 31 December 1975, Cambridge (Cambs.) [page: p. 16]
    [comments: Publ. Illustrated, pl. 1, and see p. 16 where it is said to be an original version made for Joseph Neeld. See xerox of Sale Catalogue in Object's file confirming this.]
  3. Matthews, T. (1911) The biography of John Gibson, R.A., sculptor, Rome, London
    [comments: Publ. Quotes the sculptor describing Joseph Neeld's visit to him in Rome, and his desire for a statue 'the subject to be a Venus, nude, but with some drapery modestly arranged without sacrificing too much of the form . . .']
  4. Graves, Algernon (1905) The Royal Academy of Arts, A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and their Works from its Foundation in 1769 to 1904, London: H. Graves and Co. [page: p. 230]
    [comments: Ref. vol. III, London, 1905, p. 230. Venus Verticordia. Exhibited 1839, no. 1303.]
  5. Christie's (1982) Christie's Sale Catalogue, 15th December 1982, London: Christie's 15th December 1982)
    [comments: Cf. Another example, lot 344, 92.0 cm (Sold £25,250)]
  6. Sotheby's (1983) Nineteenth Century European Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London: Sotheby's 22 November 1983)
    [comments: Cf. Lot 95, A smaller replica of the 'Tinted Venus' by Gibson, the property of Lord Altamont. H. 76 cm. c.1851-6 (Est. £15,000-20,000)]

Other Notes

Accession Number

M.4-1975 (Applied Arts)
(Reference Number: 31066; Input Date: 2001-06-25 / Last Edit: 2011-05-03)

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