A scaled-down reproduction of a lovely sculpture in the Museum, depicting the daughter of Mark Antony.
Antonia was the daughter of Mark Antony and mother of the Roman Emperor Claudius. Roman and from around AD 40-50, the original was said to be from near Naples, Italy.
The identity of the subject, a woman emerging from a calyx of leaves, was much discussed among the antiquaries in Townley's circle. At first referred to as Agrippina, the bust is still known as Clytie, a nymph who had fallen in love with the god Helios and was turned into a sunflower. Townley himself later believed her to represent Isis in the flower of Lotus. Modern scholars remain divided over the identity of the bust, some even claiming that it was made in the eighteenth century. Others consider it to be an ancient work, representing Antonia Minor (died AD 38), mother of the emperor Claudius, or a Roman lady of that period portrayed as Ariadne.
The bust of Clytie figures prominently in Johan Zoffany's iconic painting of Charles Townley in his library, and was one of three ancient marbles Townley had printed on his visiting card. It is said that the sculptor Nollekens always had in stock a marble copy of the bust for sale, such was her popularity.