Historical Context and Significance

The Grand Tour, a period of travel and exploration undertaken by the European elite, predominantly in the 18th century, saw the flourishing of cultural patronage and a renewed interest in the art and scholarship of antiquity. During these excursions, artifacts and artworks inspired by ancient figures were highly prized, serving not only as souvenirs but as tangible connections to the classical past. The bronze bust of Homer, mounted gloriously on breche violet marble with a black Belgian marble base, is a quintessential example of this period’s fascination with classical heritage. Homer, the semi-legendary author of the *Iliad* and the *Odyssey*, was revered not just as a foundational figure of ancient Greek literature but also as a symbol of wisdom and narrative skill. His works, central to the education of Europe’s scholars, were considered essential reading for any educated individual.

Homer’s Enduring Appeal

Homer’s appeal during the Grand Tour era was multifaceted. His texts offered both a window into the heroic age of Greece and a mirror reflecting the contemporary values of bravery, honor, and nobility. In art, representations of Homer often included the laurel wreath, a symbol of poetic genius and victory that linked him to Apollo, the god of poetry. This bust, with its dark patina and glossy surface, not only captures the imagined likeness of Homer but also conveys a sense of gravitas and intellectual depth appropriate to his legendary status. The use of breche violet marble, known for its luxurious and dynamic appearance, enhances the bust’s visual impact, suggesting the richness and complexity of Homer’s narratives.

Artistic and Material Insights

The choice of materials in this bust—breche violet marble combined with the somber elegance of Belgian black marble—reflects the Grand Tour’s emphasis on both aesthetic and symbolic values. The glossy, dark patina applied to the bronze signifies antiquity and the revered status of the poet, while the figured marble base adds a layer of visual interest and stability, grounding the bust in a tradition of classical sculpture. This particular assembly of materials and motifs not only highlights the artisan’s skill but also the collector’s taste and educational aspirations.

Connection to the Grand Tour

Collecting such items was partly an educational pursuit and partly a demonstration of wealth and cultural capital. Owning a bust of Homer, especially one crafted with such attention to materiality and historical detail, was a way to publicly align oneself with the values of classical antiquity—values that were held in high esteem among the aristocracy of the time. Moreover, the Grand Tour itself was a rite of passage that marked the transition from youth to learned adulthood, and artifacts from these journeys served as lifelong reminders of the lessons learned and the prestige acquired.


This Grand Tour bronze bust of Homer is not merely a decorative item but a rich historical artifact that embodies the intellectual and aesthetic values of an era deeply engaged with the classical past. It serves as a testament to the enduring influence of Homer’s literary contributions and the broader cultural practices of the Grand Tour, offering insight into the period’s artistic preferences and educational ideals. The integration of fine materials and classical motifs makes this bust an exceptional piece for collectors and connoisseurs of 18th-century European art.

Historical Context: Inspired by the 18th-century Grand Tour, this bronze bust of the ancient Greek poet Homer embodies the intellectual zeal and aesthetic tastes of the European elite during their cultural explorations.

Materials and Craftsmanship: Expertly cast in bronze with a dark patina for an antique look, the bust is set on an exquisite breche violet marble base framed by stepped, molded black Belgian marble, showcasing superb craftsmanship and material richness.

Symbolic Representation: Adorned with a laurel wreath, symbolizing poetic excellence and intellectual achievement, this bust reflects the deep reverence held for Homer as a master storyteller and key figure in classical education.

Dimensions and Display: Ideal for scholarly collections or as a stately decorative piece in a refined interior, this bust combines artistic merit with cultural significance, making it a prestigious addition to any collection.

Nicholas Wells Antiques advisors are available to answer all your questions. 

Please email us or call +44 (0)207 6920 897

Grand Tour Bronze Bust of Ancient Greek Poet Homer

Stock Number: 24137

Grand Tour Bronze Bust of Ancient Greek Poet Homer wearing a wreath of laurel leaves, the bust is mounted on a breche violet marble and stepped molded black Belgian marble base.
  • Depth: 1 cm (3.94 inches)
  • Height: 1 cm (7.09 inches)
  • Width: 1 cm (4.53 inches)


This unique piece is subject to availability.
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Approximate Dimensions

  • Depth: 1 cm (3.94 inches)
  • Height: 1 cm (7.09 inches)
  • Width: 1 cm (4.53 inches)


Period & Circa Date:



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