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The Nymph Ino and the Infant Bacchus: M.1-1975

Object information

Current Location: Founder's Entrance Hall Upper Landing


The Nymph Ino and the Infant Bacchus


Sculptor: Wyatt, Richard James




White marble, carved in the round, supported on a simulated grey granite pedestal, capped and footed with white marble.


History note: Christie's, 17 October, 1974, Objects of Art and Victorian Furniture, Eastern Rugs and Carpets, lot 95, illustrated, pl. 7; Heim Gallery (London) Ltd., 59 Jermyn Street, St James's, London.

Legal notes

Bought with the Leverton Harris Fund and Cunliffe Fund with assistance from the University Purchase and Duplicate Objects Fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 130.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Rome ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1975-01-30) by Christie's


19th Century
1834 - 1836


Having studied sculpture in London, Richard James Wyatt (1795-1850) moved to Rome in 1821 to work in the studios of the Neoclassical sculptors Canova and Thorvaldsen before establishing his own workshop. By the 1830s, he was renowned for his virtuoso carving of large-scale marble figures and harmoniously-composed groups, and gained many commissions from English visitors in Rome. This group was commissioned by Sir Robert Peel (1788–1850) when he was in Rome in 1834, shortly before he became Prime Minister. Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1836, its critical success resulted in several other versions being commissioned.

In Greek mythology, Ino and her husband Athamas, King of Orchomenus, took in the infant Dionysus, the orphaned son of Zeus and Semele. In order to conceal him from Hera (who was jealous of Zeus’s love children) they dressed Dionysus as a girl, but Hera discovered their deceit and punished them by making them insane. Dionysus was the Greek god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, and this explains the presence of the bunch of grapes, the kylix (wine-drinking cup) and over-turned amphora (storage jar for wine and oil).

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Sculpture UK

Components of the work

Figure Group composed of white marble
Pedestal composed of grey granite

Techniques used in production

Carving : White marble, carved in the round, supported on a simulated grey granite pedestal, capped and footed with white marble

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 'R.J. WYATT Fecit/ROME'
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Signature

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.1-1975
Primary reference Number: 31061
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_1_1975
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "The Nymph Ino and the Infant Bacchus" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-03-01 03:15:56

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