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Henry Philip Hope
Marble. 54,2 cm
Inventory number: G271
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This bust represents the wealthy English art collector Thomas Hope’s brother, Henry Philip Hope (1774-1839). It stood on the mantelpiece in Thomas Hope’s dining room in London between two antique horses’ heads. In Greek, “Philip” means one who is fond of horses. Like his brother, Henry Philip Hope was a connoisseur and collector of art, mainly antiquities. For his bust of Henry Philip Hope, the artist John Flaxman chose the form of a herma, with the head carved frontally, that is to say a distinctly archaic portrait form. This was a form also occasionally chosen by Thorvaldsen, for instance in his Self-Portrait Bust (1810, inv.no. A223). Thomas Hope’s collection was auctioned in 1917, and the Museum acquired this bust along with Thorvaldsen’s statue of Jason (inv. no. A822), his statue of Psyche (inv. no. A821) and four busts of members of the Hope family.