- Museum number
An ancient Roman sacrifice: same size cartoon for the overmantel relief in the marble dining room (or parlour) at Houghton Hall, Norfolk, executed for Sir Robet Walpole; at left two priests at an altar, one pouring a libation on the fire, below a boy leading a goat, at centre a man killing a ram, at right two other men leading an ox
Black chalk, heightened with white, on twelve sheets of conjoined buff paper; framed (contemporary)
- Production date
- 1732 (c.)
Height: 1171 millimetres
Width: 1585 millimetres (sight measurement)
- Curator's comments
- A working drawing for the entire overmantel, including the relief as well as its surround, is in the Kunstsammlung Weimar. While the right side of the composition, with two figures leading a bull, is little changed, the grouping and activities of the figures on the left side is considerably altered in the cartoon.
See M I Webb, Michael Rysbrack, Sculptor, 1954, pp 128, 228.
A cartoon for the overmantel relief in the Marble Parlour at Houghton Hall, King's Lynn (Norfold), still in its original gilded frame; see 'Houghton Revisited: the Walpole masterpieces from Catherine the Great's Hermitage', exh.cat. Houghton Hall in King's Lynn (Norfolk), London, 2013, cat.no.83.
Popham's report of gift held on file:
The British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings, 23 Sept., 1953,
Mr Popham has the honour to report the gift, from the Most Noble The Marquess of Cholmondeley, of the original cartoon by the sculptor, John Michael Rysbrack (b.1693: D. 1770) for the marble relief of a Sacrificial Scene over the chimney piece in the Dining Room at Houghton Hall, Norfolk. It is in black chalk touched with white on buff paper, and it is the same size as the finished sculpture - full-size designs of this kind by sculptors in England are rare; and this example is of exceptional interest as having been executed by one of the leading Baroque sculptors of the day for Sir Robert Walpole. It still has its original carved and gilt frame.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1996/7 Oct-Jan, Norwich, Castle Mus, Prime Minister ..., no.57
1997 Jan-April, London, Kenwood, Prime Minister ...
2013, May-Sep, Houghton Hall, Historic Recreation: Houghton Revisited
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number