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American Paintings and Sculpture
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Artist: Thomas Crawford, American, 1814–1857

Cicero

1837

Marble

22 1/2 × 13 1/2 × 11 1/2 in. (57.1 × 34.3 × 29.2 cm)
Presented to Yale College by Professor Edward E. Salisbury, B.A. 1832, M.A. 1835, LL.D. 1869
1900.58

In the early 1800s, many American sculptors went to Italy, drawn by the abundance of marble quarries, trained stonecutters, and collections of ancient masterpieces. In 1835, Thomas Crawford settled in Rome, where he developed a lucrative business making copies of Roman antiquities for visitors on the Grand Tour. Crawford’s enthusiasm for the objects of classical antiquity with which he was surrounded in Rome led him to copy numerous reliefs and antique busts. It was probably on one of his copying expeditions to the Capitoline Museums that he saw the bust of the Roman Republican statesman, politician, orator, and author Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.). The Cicero byCrawford is an exact replica of the Roman original, and even the folds of Cicero’s clothing are reproduced in the same painstaking detail. The stern, noble countenance of the ambitious, independent, and brilliant Roman statesman may have particularly appealed to Crawford, with its suggestion of fortitude and stoicism in the face of great adversity.

Geography: 
Made in Rome, Italy
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Sculpture
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.