Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Charles Towneley

File:Zoffani, Johann - Charles Towneley in his Sculpture Gallery - 1782.jpg

Charles Towneley (1733-1805) by Johan Zoffany.
Towneley was under the impression that his statues were Greek; we now know they were mainly Roman copies. Near the centre of the composition is the bust of Clytie- possibly a portrait of Mark Antony's daughter Antonia- which Towneley liked to refer to as his "wife". During the anti-catholic Gordon riots, when his London town house was under threat by the mob, Towneley went back inside- at some personal risk- to rescue Clytie. Unlike most connoisseurs Towneley allowed his collection to be viewed by the public. After his death the British Museum bought the collection from the family for £20,000.

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