ISIS BUST – JOSEPH GOTT (1786 – 1860)

Joseph Gott (1786-1860).
Isis bust.
First third of the 19th century.

Height 53 cm

This bust is based on an antique model from the Roman period displayed in the Bust Room of the Pio Clementino Museum. It has been identified as a representation of the Egyptian goddess Isis after her integration into the Roman pantheon. This cult had already been successful during the Hellenistic period. Originally, the goddess was depicted with a diadem surmounted by a disc, which certainly inspired the elaborate hairstyle the later roman version.

This sensible reproduction of the original was made by Joseph Gott while he lived in Rome. Another copy held by the Ashmolean museum is known. Like our model, it varies slightly from the antique by the truncation of the chest to obtain this bust on pedestal whose form is typical of the early 19th century.
Joseph Gott was an English artist born in Leeds in 1785. As a young man, he chose to devote himself to sculpture rather than take over the flourishing family business. He was a student of John Flaxman from 1798 to 1802 before joining the Royal Academy School in 1805. He left for Rome in 1824 after his father finally agreed to cover the costs of this first trip. He spent most of his life there. He sculpted several monuments such as Edward Cheney's to mbe at Gaddesby. But his most prosperous period ended abruptly in 1838 after the cholera epidemic that hit Italy and put an end to the wave of rich English tourists making their Grand Tour. He ended his life quite anonymous after having experienced a long period of depression following the death of his family due to the same epidemic.

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