The Human Touch

Making Art | Leaving Traces

Manhandled

During the Renaissance period, moralists voiced concern about the dangers of touch, or ‘lewd handling’, for inciting passions, ‘precipitating a fall into lechery’. The patina on this bronze statuette of a female nymph shows particular wear on the figure’s breasts, revealing that some of its former owners could not resist temptation.

Unknown maker
Nymph Seated, Asleep
Mantua, Italy
1500–1525
Bronze, 14.7 x 15 x 8.8 cm
Bequeathed by the Hon. Mrs Pamela Sherek, from the collection of the late Lt Col the Hon. M.T. Boscawen, DSO, MC, in his memory, 1997
M.40-1997

Section: Four

Manhandled

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