The stunning ‘Greek Slave’ statue, one of the most important artefacts from Raby Castle, has recently been transported to the Tate Britain, London, where it will be a highlight at their ‘Sculpture Victorious’ Exhibition which opens on 24th February.
Clare Owen our Curator said: “This is a stunning statue and one of our most treasured, we’re thrilled it was chosen to be part of this exhibition.”
The statue is the primary version of one of the most famous sculptures of the 19th century and is the work of the American sculptor Hiram Powers who completed it in 1844. It depicts a chained Greek Christian maiden standing naked in a Turkish slave market and was originally displayed at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 where it stood inside a canopy. The 2nd Duke of Cleveland of Raby Castle bought the piece for £1,800 in 1859 and records exist at Raby stating that it was transported by train from London and then by truck from Darlington to the Castle, weighing approximately 250 kg that must have been no easy feat at that time.
This is not the first occasion that the Tate Britain has borrowed the piece. In 2008 it was displayed at ‘The Return of the Gods: Neoclassical Sculpture’ Exhibition when it was much admired, having received a surface clean whilst it was on loan.
The ‘Sculpture Victorious’ Exhibition runs until 25 May 2015 after which the statue will be returned to be on public display back in Raby Castle. Raby Castle will re-open to the public from 4th – 6th April and then from 3rd May until the end of September 2015, further details can be found by clicking here.