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The sculpture was presented to Viscount Castlereagh by the artist in thanks for helping to organise the return of works of art to the Vatican which had been taken to Paris as war booty during the Napoleonic Wars. There is a dedicatory inscription on the reverse.
Helen of Troy
H 66 x W 30 x D 33 cm
on loan from a private collection
inscribed on truncation on the reverse: VICECOMITI CASTELREGHIO | VIRO PRESTANTISSIMO | ANTONIVS CANOVA | FECIT. AC.D.D. (To Viscount Castlereagh | a most prominent man | Antonio Canova | made it. Year of Creation of the Lord God)