Giles Hussey

Apollo Belvedere

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Giles Hussey 1710–1788
Graphite on paper
Support: 252 × 180 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

Hussey probably made this copy of the famous Hellenistic statue while he was in Italy during the 1730s. His ability to draw such controlled continuous lines was no doubt aided by the 'machino' mentioned in the inscription, which may have been a perspective machine. There were a number of such devices used at this time, like the perspectograph, which enabled the artist to trace a subject through the use of a special eye-piece and a system of upright rods and pulleys. Hussey's commitment to portraying exact likeness in his work is evident in a contemporary description of him as 'eager to crown his art with the most conceivable perfection'.

Gallery label, August 2004

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