William Wetmore Story (American 1819-1895) A Carrara marble bust of John Lothrop Motley
on a turned socle base, signed W.W.STORY and dated ROMA 1869, 72cm high, 40cm wide, (28" high, 15.5" wide).
Provenance: Probably John Lothrop Motley (1814-1877) and then by descent to his daughter the wife of the prominent Liberal politician William George Granville Venables Vernon Harcourt (1827-1904) and thence by family descent. William Wetmore Story (February 12, 1819 - October 7, 1895) was an American sculptor, art critic, poet and editor. He graduated at Harvard College in 1838, continued his law studies under his father and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar. He later left the law and devoted himself to sculpture, and after 1850 lived in Rome, where he was acquainted with the Brownings and Walter Savage Landor. Along with numerous commissions, Story famously sculpted a bronze statue of Joseph Henry on the Mall in Washington, D.C., the scientist who served as the Smithsonian Institution's first Secretary. His most famous work, Cleopatra, (1858) is on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia. Story died in 1895 at Vallombroso, Italy.
John Lothrop Motley (Dorchester, Massachusetts, April 15, 1814Dorchester, England, May 29, 1877) was an American historian. He attended the Round Hill School, Boston Latin School, and graduated from Harvard in 1831. In 1839 he published anonymously a novel entitled Morton's Hope, or the Memoirs of a Provincial. In 1841 he entered the diplomatic service as secretary of legation in St. Petersburg, Russia. Within three months he returned to America and began his literary career. In 1849, he published another novel, entitled Merry Mount, a Romance of the Massachusetts Colony. In about 1846 he had begun to plan a history of the Netherlands, and for further research he went with his family, wife and children, to Europe in 1851. In 1856 he published The Rise of the Dutch Republic and in later years published further volumes.
In 1861, Motley was appointed United States minister to the Austrian Empire until his resignation in 1867. In 1869 he was appointed the United States Ambassador to the Court of St James's until 1870. After a short visit to the Netherlands, he returned to England, where the Life and Death of John Barneveld, Advocate of Holland, : with a View of the Primary Causes and Movements of the Thirty Years War appeared in two volumes in 1874. He died at Frampton Court, near Dorchester, Dorset. An edition of his historical works was published in nine volumes in London in 19031904.