Atalanta Adjusting Her Robes
Artist: Italian after an antique Roman statue
Year: c. 1850
Size: Height - 54"
Original Location: Front Hall
This piece is more commonly known as Diana Robing or Diane de Gabies. The original, in the Louvre, is part of the collection purchased by Napoleon Bonaparte from the Borghese family in 1807. By 1820 it was on display in the Louvre. The statue was excavated on the Borghese property at Gabii outside Rome in 1792 and displayed at the Villa Borghese. The statue was greatly admired in the nineteenth century. We do not know why Adelicia refers to this statue, as Atalanta, but that was one of the names used for the statue in publications at the time. Atalanta’s father discourages suitors by saying that they had to outrace her in a footrace. No one could beat her. If the suitors lost the race they were beheaded. Young Hippomones fell in love with her and asked Aphrodite, the goddess of love, for help. The goddess was willing to help because she did not like the idea that Atalanta was denying Hippomones the power of love. Aphrodite gave Hippomones three Golden Apples. As they were running the race and she got ahead he threw one of the apples in front of her. When she stopped to pick the apple up he passed her. He repeated that three times and won the race.
The Louisville Courier Journal article in 1881 stated that the statue stood in the Front Hall. It was sold in the estate sale in 1888 to Louis Valentino for $75. In 1912 his wife sold it to Mr. Thomas Wrenne. The statue was on display in the Nashville Art Museum at this time. Belmont Mansion Association purchased the statue from Mr. Wrenne’s daughter in December of 2000. The pedestal probably dates from the Valentino ownership.