Benzoni, Giovanni Maria (1809-73; Italian)
Euterpe, the Muse of Lyric Poetry
Marble, size unknown
Presented by James Chapman, 1885; de-accessioned and presented to the City of Geelong West, 1941.
Unidentified; present location unknown

The 1894 and 1905 NGV catalogues both list this statue as a replica, but provide contradictory details. NGV 1894 indicates that the original was in the Vatican, but this seems to arise from confusion with an antique work (reproduced below), probably the basis for a plaster cast also in the pre-Felton collection.

NGV 1905 describes the present statue as a replica of Benzoni’s original statue in the Rome Opera House, possibly a Euterpe documented as made by Benzoni for Prince Alessandro Torlonia in 1836.

Benzoni’s sculpture was one of four donated to Melbourne in 1885 by Chapman, including * Gott Flora {1885} Loc? [SC], also formally de-accessioned with the present work and transferred to Geelong in October 1941.

[comparative photo: “Euterpe” (Vatican, Museo Pio-Clementino)]

Refs.

AR 1884. p.36 (as received March 1885); SB, p.67 (Statues), with note indicating donation to Geelong West, Oct.1941; NGV 1894, p.133 (VI.Rotunda, no.42); NGV 1905, p.155 (VI.Sculpture – Entrance Hall, no.8)

For Benzoni’s 1836 statue, see e.g. http://legacy.bibliotecamai.org/cataloghi_inventari/carteggi/carteggio_benzoni/sommario.html 

For the plaster cast formerly in Melbourne, see NGV 1865, p.12 (Casts of statues, no.30); NGV 1880, p.12 (Casts of statues; original noted as in the Vatican); and NGV 1894, p.143 (VIII.Cast Gallery [Antique Room], no.7). The original was probably the late Hellenistic figure reproduced here, in the Pio-Clementine Museum (Inv.303): see e.g. http://ancientrome.ru/art/artworken/img.htm?id=1272 [accessed 9 June 2014]