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IIIF Actions
Peter Gaspar Scheemakers, 1691–1781
ca. 1723
Materials & Techniques:
Overall: 12 x 28 x 11 1/4 inches (30.5 x 71.1 x 28.6 cm)

Signed by chisel at head of figure: "P. SCHEEMAKERS. F"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
blanket | historical subject | nude | pharaoh | portrait | sleeping | woman
Associated People:
Cleopatra VII Philopator (late 69 BC–30 BC), last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Small-scale marbles with mythological or historical subjects were popular on the Continent but rare in Britain, where the taste in sculpture was for more prosaic fare: monumental tombs, portrait busts, and garden statues. Nevertheless, when Flemish sculptors Laurent Delvaux and Peter Scheemakers joined forces in London in the mid-1720s, they found a lucrative sideline in making pairs of small recumbent nudes, all of them given respectable classical titles. Intended for private enjoyment rather than public display, the miniaturized scale and sleeping attitudes of these figures of Ariadne, bride of Bacchus, and Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, were undoubtedly designed to invite the caresses of their male owners. The artistic collaboration between Delvaux and Scheemakers was short-lived. In 1728 the pair sold their stock and left London for Rome, parting company shortly thereafter.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Taste & Beauty in Three Dimensions: Paul Mellon and British Sculpture (Yale Center for British Art, 2002-10-23 - 2004-02-15) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Charles Avery, Laurent Delvaux's Sculpture in England, National Trust Studies, no. 2, Sotheby Parke Bernet, London, 1980, p. 162, fig. 12, DA655 N38 1980 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Alain Jacobs, Laurent Delvaux: Gand 1696 - Nivelles, 1778, Arthena, Paris, 1999, p. 236-238, Cat. S16a, NJ18 D4145 J33 FMJ 7241 1999 + Oversize (HAAS) [ORBIS]

Sotheby's, [ Sotheby's Advertisement ] : Fine Medieval, Renaissance and Later Works of Art : Thursday, 17 April 1968 at 2:30 p.m., The Times (London), April 15, 1969, p. 18, Available Online : The Times Digital Archive Also available on Microfilm: Film An T482 (SML) [ORBIS]

Taste & beauty in three dimensions : Paul Mellon and British sculpture, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Conn., 2002, p. [4], no. 8, V 1426 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Angus Trumble, The Marble Bust, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2004, no. 17, V 1304 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ellis Waterhouse, Sculpture from the Paul Mellon Collection at the British Art Center at Yale, Burlington Magazine, vol. 119, May 1977, p. 351, N1 +B87 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

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