A Statue From Rome


Hendrik Christian Andersen (1872–1940)
Count Alberto Bevilacqua, 1899
Painted terra-cotta
© National Trust / Charles Thomas

James purchased this bust from Andersen for £50 (the equivalent of approximately $5,000 today), a figure that James considered “modest for the admirable and exquisite work.” It was shipped from Rome in 1899, shortly after James met Andersen, and placed by the mantelpiece in a corner of the small dining room at Lamb House, Rye, where James had moved in 1897. The young count resembled Andersen, and James wrote of the bust, “I shall have him constantly before me as a loved companion and friend. He is so living, so human, so sympathetic and sociable and curious, that I foresee it will be a lifelong attachment.” James later told a friend that the sculpture was “the first object that greets my eyes in the morning, and the last at night.