This marble statue of Handel in the guise of Apollo was Roubiliac's first major commission ordered for the pleasure-gardens at Vauxhall, where Handel's music was often performed.
George Frideric Handel, as Apollo by Louis-François Roubiliac, 1737
Â© V&A Picture Library
- 135 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £5,000 ( Total: £10,000)
- Acquired in:
- Novello & Company
It was the first fully rococo figure to be carved in this country and the most vivid likeness of the great composer in his prime. The statue shows Handel at the age of 53, when he dominated the musical life of London. It was carved shortly after the successful first performance of Alexander's Feast, and the score of this work is among those represented under the left arm of the composer. Handel is shown as a slippered Apollo playing his lyre but seated informally and wearing a cap. A putto at his feet transcribes the melody.
Made for Jonathan Tyers, for Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens; Sacred Harmonic Society; Henry Littleton; Novello & Co.