Tomasso Brothers: Scultura

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paul holberton publishing

15 October to 1 November 2008 at Williams Moretti Irving Gallery 24 East 80th Street New York 10075 Tomasso Brothers Fine Art Bardon Hall, Weetwood Lane Leeds LS16 8HJ, England Tel. +44 (0 )1132755545 Fax +44 (0 )1132755565

Copyright Š 2008 Tomasso Brothers Fine Art Lithography and printing by e-graphic, Verona All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any storage or retrieval system, without the prior permission in writing from the copyright holders and publisher. isbn 9781903470893 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Produced by Paul Holberton publishing, 89 Borough High Street, London se1 1nl Designed by Peter Campbell Lithography and printing by Graphic Studio, Bussolengo, Verona, Italy front cover: cat. 10. Giambologna, Venus Urania or An Allegory of Astronomy back cover: cat. 13. Antonio Susini, Equestrian Portrait of Carlo Emanuele I, Duke of Savoy frontispiece: cat. 11 Hubert Gerhard/Carlo del Palagio (Circle of ) The Centaur Nessus abducting Deianeira


acknowledgements We would firstly like to acknowledge Luciano Russo, Kevin Smith and Paul Atkinson, three people whose efforts and encouragement have been crucial in the development of Tomasso Brothers, and without whose unconditional support this exhibition would not have been possible. We would also like to thank the following specialists and academics for their contributions to the catalogue; Dr Charles Avery (C.A.) Sandro Bellesi (S.B.) Dr Anthea Brook (A.Br.) Andrew Butterfield (A.Bu.) Tobias Desmet (T.D.) Carlo Milano (C.M.) Jeanette Sisk ( J.S.) Mara Visonà (M.V.) Dimitri Zikos (D.Z.) With special thanks to Nick Penny for his and Francis Haskell’s invaluable book Taste and the Antique, which has provided and continues to provide an endless reference and cornerstone for our daily studies. Thanks to Adam Williams for his enthusiasm, without which this project would not have gone ahead, and to Charlotte Conboy for her endeavour, hard work and patience in putting together the whole project. In our first foray into catalogued exhibitions we have been gently led by the safe and cool guidance of Paul Holberton, Laura Parker and Peter Campbell . And a special mention must be given to Franco Antichi and family for all their help, support and generosity in our formative years and, of course, their famous coffee. We must offer a final thanks to our photographer Doug Currie whose professional approach and patience has helped to capture the beauty of the objects presented here.


SCULTURA 1. Gregorio di Lorenzo, Portrait of King Ferdinand I (Ferrante) of Naples 2. Agnolo di Polo (attributed to) A Bust of Christ 3. Florence, c. 1500, Marsyas 4. Andrea Briosco, called Il Riccio, The Virgin and Child, Between candelabra 5. Andrea Briosco, called Il Riccio, The Infant Hercules 6. Antonio Minello de’ Bardi, Bust of a Classical Heroine 7. Northern Italy (Trent or Padua?), c. 1552, The Imperial Elephant Soliman the Magnificent 8. Pietro Simoni da Barga, The Medici Lion 9. Elia Candido, A Pair of Flying Putti 10. Giambologna, Venus Urania or An Allegory of Astronomy 11. Hubert Gerhard/Carlo del Palagio (Circle of ) The Centaur Nessus abducting Deianeira 12. Antonio Susini, The Fowler 13. Antonio Susini, Equestrian Portrait of Carlo Emanuele I, Duke of Savoy 14. Florence, c. 1600, Crucifix 15. Pietro Tacca (workshop of ), Hercules and the Centaur 16. Florentine School, 17th century, Walking Horse with Flowing Mane 17. Gianfrancesco Susini, Europa and the Bull 18. Ferdinando Tacca, A Model of the Monument to Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, at Livorno 19. Ferdinando Tacca, Mercury 20. Ferdinando Tacca, Saint Sebastian 21. Rome, 17th century, The Farnese Bull 22. Rome, 17th century, Lucius Verus 23. Leonhard Kern (attributed to) A Striding Dromedary 6

24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

Giovanni Battista Foggini (attributed to) Il Porcellino Giovanni Battista Foggini, Il Pasquino Florence, c. 1700, Dancing Faun France, early 18th century, A Pair of Classical Busts Giovacchino Fortini, Prudenza Feroni Nicolas Coustou (after a model by; early 18th century) Adonis Resting after the Hunt 30. Vincenzo Foggini (after a model by; early 18th century) Samson and the Philistines 31. Pietro Cipriani, A Pair of Busts: Geta and Plautilla 32. Filippo Della Valle, Cupid and Psyche 33. German School, 18th century, Saint Michael in Victory 34. Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, Venus and Mercury 35. François-Marie Poncet, A Pair of Fauns 36. Michael Henry Spang (probably cast by E. Burch) Écorché 37. Jean-Antoine Houdon, A Portrait Head of Voltaire 38. Italian, late 18th Century (possibly Luigi Valadier) Bust of Dionysus 39. Giacomo Zoffoli and Giovanni Zoffoli, A Pair of Gaeta Vases 40. Francesco Righetti, A Pair of Busts: The Dioscuri 41. Francesco Righetti and Luigi Righetti, Captive Dacians 42. Joseph Chinard, Bust of A Young Lady 43. Lorenzo Bartolini, Napoleon Bonaparte 44. Joseph Gott, Resting Cupid



gregorio di lorenzo (c. 1436–c. 1504), formerly known as the master of the marble madonnas Portrait of King Ferdinand I (Ferrante) of Naples (1423–1494, reg. 1458–94) c. 1472

Marble, traces of gold lettering (along edge of his garment) 19 3 ⁄ 4 in. x 13 3 ⁄ 4 in. (50 x 35 cm) provenance: Private collection, France The present unpublished relief is a portrait of King Ferrante of Naples made by the Florentine sculptor Gregorio di Lorenzo. That the relief is indeed a portrait of King Ferrante can be established by comparison with other known portraits of him, such as the marble bust in the Louvre (RF 745; Hersey 1964, p. 83, fig. 9) and the coins struck by Girolamo Liparolo and others during Ferrante’s lifetime (Hill 1930, p. 81, pl. 50, nos. 323–25, 326–28). That the relief is a work by Gregorio di Lorenzo can be established by comparing it to other documented works by the artist. The Florentine sculptor Gregorio di Lorenzo has only recently been identified with the anonymous sculptor known as ‘the Master of the Marble Madonnas’ (Pisani 2002; Caglioti 2008). In 1455 he was a member of the sculptor Desiderio da Settignano’s workshop in Florence, and in 1461–62 Gregorio was commissioned by the Medici to carve the marble lavabo in the sacristy of the Badia at Fiesole. He appears to have been active primarily outside Florence, however, as is attested by the large number of his works in the Romagna, in the Marche and in Hungary, where he worked at the court of King Matthias Corvinus for several years. The present relief is comparable to other documented works by Gregorio di Lorenzo, especially his reliefs of Roman emperors, which were a particular speciality of his, as Francesco Caglioti has recently established. A number of these reliefs survive, and several, such as the Agrippa and the Antoninus Pius at the Museo di Casa Romei in Ferrara, are of nearly identical dimensions to the present relief: the Agrippa (inv. 14) measures 51.8 x 35 cm and the Antoninus Pius (inv. 15) measures 49.7 x 35 cm (see Caglioti 2008, figs. 4–5, and esp. p. 72). Like the Ferrante portrait, each emperor relief shows a bust-length figure in profile within a rectangular panel framed by mouldings along the left, upper and right edges, and a wider border running along the bottom convex edge of the panel. The placement of the figures within the space of all three reliefs is comparable as well, with the crowned heads nearly filling the space within the frame, while the torsos overlap the mouldings at left and right. The style of carving in the present relief is consistent with that of Gregorio di Lorenzo’s other works. The reliefs in the Casa Romei in Ferrara were part of a series of twelve rectangular marble reliefs of emperors made by Gregorio di Lorenzo and purchased by the Commune of Ferrara in 1472 (Rosenberg 1997, pp. 114–15; Caglioti 2008, esp. pp. 69, 72–73). They decorated the newly constructed loggia on the façade of the Torre di Rigobello, part of a larger reconstruction project initiated by Duke Ercole I of Ferrara to celebrate his marriage in 1472 to Eleonora of Aragon, the daughter of King Ferrante of Naples. In the same year, Gregorio di Lorenzo took a set of twelve marble reliefs of emperors to Naples. While the documents (Caglioti 2008, appendix 4) do not tell us to whom the sculptures were delivered, Caglioti has suggested that King Ferrante was the recipient. He relates Gregorio’s 1472 Neapolitan series to an earlier commission for a group of heads 8

depicting the twelve Caesars described in Suetonius. Significantly, this series was commissioned from Desiderio da Settignano, who received payments for it in 1455, when Gregorio di Lorenzo was a member of his workshop (Caglioti 2008, p. 68 and n. 10; see also Middeldorf 1979). Caglioti has provided a great deal of evidence to suggest that Desiderio’s series was commissioned by Ferrante’s father, Alfonso the Magnanimous, King of Naples, and he proposes that Gregorio’s 1472 Neapolitan series may even have represented the completion of Desiderio’s unfinished series of 1455. It is probable that Gregorio completed the present portrait of Ferrante at the same time that he made the Neapolitan series of emperor reliefs, when the King would have been fortynine years old. By commissioning such a portrait, in which he is represented in profile in a manner clearly evoking the portraits on imperial coinage, and in a format identical to that of Gregorio’s series of twelve emperors, Ferrante was creating a potent symbol of power and rulership by establishing a strong visual link between himself and the great rulers of antiquity. A.Bu. related literature Francesco Caglioti, ‘Fifteenth-Century Reliefs of Ancient Emperors and Empresses in Florence: Production and Collecting’, in Collecting Sculpture in Early Modern Europe, ed. Nicholas Penny and Eike D. Schmidt, Washington and New Haven, 2008, pp. 66–109 G.L. Hersey, ‘Alfonso II, Benedetto e Giuliano da Maiano e la porta Reale’, Napoli Nobilissima, IV, September–December 1964, pp. 77–95 George Francis Hill, A Corpus of Italian Medals of the Renaissance before Cellini, 2 vols., London, 1930 Ulrich Middeldorf, ‘Die zwölfe Caesaren von Desiderio da Settignano’, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, XXIII, 1979, pp. 297–312 Linda Pisani, ‘Per il “Maestro delle Madonne di marmo”: una rilettura ed una proposta di identificazione’, Prospettiva, vols. 106–07, April–July 2002, pp. 144–65 Charles M. Rosenberg, The Este Monuments and Urban Development in Renaissance Ferrara, Cambridge and New York, 1997



agnolo di polo (documented 1470‒98) (Attributed to)

A Bust of Christ Polychrome terracotta 16 in. (40.6 cm) high provenance: King’s College, Cambridge This beautiful and serene representation of Christ as The Saviour originates in Florence and epitomizes one of the great sculptural themes of the late Quattrocento, the mezzo-busto or half- length bust. Christ is finely modelled, with long flowing hair that rests on his shoulders and a tightly curled beard which is parted beneath his chin. This prototype was invented by Andrea del Verrocchio, and is most famously displayed on his masterpiece, Christ and Saint Thomas from Orsanmichele, Florence. Although it has not been possible fully to substantiate the identity of the author of this intimate bust, Agnolo di Polo is a strong candidate for several reasons. Agnolo is known to have made several half-length busts of Christ in terracotta, following the prototype of Verrocchio, and, stylistically, the exhibition bust compares well with Agnolo’s bust of Saint Anthony Abbot in a private collection in Venice (illustrated in Lorenzo Lorenzi’s monograph on the artist, p. 88, no. 13). The rendering of the high cheekbones, the rather heavy eyelids and the angular physiognomy in both examples should be considered as a signature motifs of Agnolo’s modelling style. related literature: L. Lorenzi, Agnolo di Polo, Scultura in terracotta dipinta nella Firenze di fine Quattrocento, Belriguardo, 1998 J. Pope-Hennessey, Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum, 3 vols., I, p. 209, no. 197, illus. 111, p. 143, no. 202




c. 1500

Marsyas Bronze, rich, brown patina with traces of lacquer 12 in. (30.5 cm) high Lorenzo the Magnificent de’ Medici is known, through his posthumous inventory, to have owned a bronze statuette about half a braccio high (approximately 12 in. or 30 cm) described as “un gnudo di bronzo di tutto rilievo tondo, vochato lo gnudo della paura” (a bronze nude all in the round, known as the frightened nude). The present bronze undoubtedly follows the same model. It is probable that the same ‘frightened man’ bronze was again noted in the collection of Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1553, and that it was again the same figure which, a few years before, in 1546, had been loaned to Benvenuto Cellini. These and other notices attest the popularity and esteem for the model amongst the highest circles. Ultimately deriving from an ancient statue of Marsyas Piping, now lost, the Renaissance interpretation of the figure is likely to have originated in Florence at a very early date – around the middle of the fifteenth century – in the circle of Antonio Pollaiolo. Most known versions of the figure are early, and the present bronze can date no later than the first quarter of the sixteenth century, given its rich brown/black patina and its solid casting. Marsyas is shown striding forward, with his right knee bent, almost exaggeratedly, to express the rhythm of the auli (twin pipes) that he blows. Around his mouth, following an ancient practice afterwards discontinued, a leather binding known as a phorbeia helps him give a more rounded tone to the sound of the pipes. Marsyas is depicted as youthful and vibrant, and these attributes point towards an Etruscan prototype as opposed to a Classical Greek one, which typically would have represented Marsyas as an older man. There exist some well documented versions of this figure but perhaps the one held at the Frick Collection, New York, makes the best comparison with the present bronze. The Frick bronze differs only in one main aspect, namely that the model is shown without the phorbeia. related literature: W. Bode, Die Italienische Bronzen, Berlin, 19o4, no. 24, pl. XCVI (height 305 cm, solid cast, as by Pollaiolo) W. Bode (ed. Draper), Italian Bronze Statuettes of the Renaissance, New York, 1980, pls. XCV, XCVI P.P. Bober and R.O. Rubinstein, Renaissance Artists and Antique Sculpture: A Handbook of Sources, London, 1987, p. 73, no. 30, illus. nos. 30, 30A A. Capobianco, I bronzetti, La Collezione Farnese di Capodimonte, Naples, 1995, I, p. 88, nos. 2103, illus. p. 7, and 2104, illus. p. 88 La Collezione Farnese, Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples, 1996, no. 2103, p. 88, ill. p. 88 Ed. Mina Gregori, In the Light of Apollo: The Italian Renaissance and Greece, exhibition catalogue., National Gallery–Alexander Soutzos Museum, Athens, 2003‒04 H. Olsen, Aeldre Udenlandsk Skulptur, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, 1980 G. Pratesi, Scultura fiorentina – III, Del Seicento e Settecento, Turin, 1993, no. 574 J. Pope Hennessey and A.F. Radcliffe, The Frick Collection, III, Sculpture, New York, 1970, p. 32

related drawings Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Box 4, 4a (Gernsheim, neg. no. 72 885)



andrea briosco, called il riccio (1470–1532) The Virgin and Child, between candelabra, c. 1500 Bronze, rich brown patina 4 i ⁄ 4 x 3 i ⁄ 4 in. (10.7 cm high, 8.3 cm wide) provenance:Kenneth Clark (Lord Clark of Saltwood) The Virgin Mary, shown at three-quarters length, is cradling the naked Christ Child in her arms. She seems to be standing behind a draped altar that is flanked by two flaming candelabra, with their drip-pans supported by small angels. The composition is surmounted by scrolls flanking a central anthemion (in this case missing). John Pope-Hennessy (1965, no. 59, fig. 2) described the cast in the Kress Collection as after a lost relief by Donatello. Earlier, the composition had been variously ascribed – by Fortnum to Cristoforo di Geremia; by Bode to Bellano; by Molinier, Planscig and Ricci more vaguely to the Paduan School. The present cast is here proposed as an early tribute by Il Riccio to his master, Bellano, and in turn his master, Donatello. The attribution depends on a number of features in Il Riccio’s other works that are closely comparable. First, the tabula ansata of which the top half is visible at the centre of the altar in front of the Virgin is a motif beloved of Riccio, appearing, for example, twice towards the top of his large plaque depicting Saint Martin (Ca’ d’Oro, Venice: Planiscig 1927, p. 237, pl. 268) and on the Paschal Candlestick in the Santo in Padua (Planiscig 1927, p. 277, pls. 319–22). Again, the profile face of the Virgin is closely comparable with the profile of the Virgin in the life-size group now in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (Planiscig 1927, p. 256, pl. 287) and of the Virgin in The Adoration of the Magi (Planiscig 1927, p. 279, pl. 323) and The Adoration of the Shepherds (Planiscig 1927, p. 281, pl. 324). The facial type of the Christ Child is typical of Il Riccio: see, for instance, the child held by Abundance in his group in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence (Planiscig 1927, p. 259, pl. 290). Both Virgin and Child correspond closely with the minute figures of Fame and Cupid on a circular plaquette (illus. Planiscig 1927, p. 263), especially the Grecian play of drapery over her bosom and around the waist; they also re-appear in the relief of Astrology on the base of Riccio’s Paschal Candlestick (Planiscig 1927, p. 263, pls. 296–97). Lastly, the pose of the Christ Child, leaning steeply backwards but reaching forward with his nearer hand, echoes that of one of the putti supporting the tabulae ansatae of the Paschal Candlestick (Planiscig 1927, p. 276, pl. 320). C.A. related literature Leo Planiscig, Andrea Riccio, Vienna, 1927 J.A. Pope-Hennessey, Kress Collection Catalogue, p. 21, no. 59, fig. 2



andrea briosco, called il riccio (1470–1532) The Infant Hercules Bronze 5 i ⁄ 4 in. (13.3 cm) high provenance: With Ricchetti, Venice 1885; purchased by Prince Johannes II of Liechtenstein, thence by descent This delightful statuette has been virtually unknown to scholarship since its publication by Planiscig in his monograph of 1927 (pp. 198, 201, 481, no. F 82, pl. 227), where he perceptively claimed it on stylistic and qualitative grounds to be probably by Il Riccio: “Little, naked putti, related to those of the David relief, are not uncommon. I here adduce an outstanding, probably autograph, example that is preserved in the princely Liechtenstein Gallery in Vienna: a nude boy standing on his left foot, with his right hand raised.” Alas, the poorly lit photograph reproduced in his book, in which the face is in shadow, did not do justice to its quality or permit any sensible judgement on it, until the statuette itself re-emerged recently from the storerooms of the Liechtenstein collection. The moment its face could be properly examined, Planiscig’s assessment was vindicated: this is not only a typical Riccio putto, but an outstanding one. In spite of their disparity in size, the boy’s head may be compared with that of the Christ Child in the half-length terracotta group with the Virgin Mary that is now in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Planiscig 1927, p. 256, pl. 287): in both cases their foreheads bulge forward, are crowned with curly forelocks and are framed with other curls. The eyelids are carefully delineated with the burin and a modelling tool respectively, as are their half-open lips, which are neatly outlined and brought forward pronouncedly. The pectoral muscles and axis of the thorax are emphasized in a way that suggests the anatomy of a rather older body. The head may also be parallelled in bronzes of the same scale – the putto in the arm of Abundance (Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence; Planiscig 1927, p. 259, pl. 290); the three putti in attendance on the panels in high relief depicting The Cardinal Virtues on Riccio’s masterpiece, the Paschal Candlestick in the Santo in Padua (Planiscig 1927, pp. 305–07, pls. 349–51); and the many children representing human souls in two of Riccio’s panels from the Della Torre monument, those showing The Crossing of the River Styx and The Elysian Fields (Planiscig 1927, pp. 394–95, pls. 491–92). The one leading – the soul of Della Torre himself – in these scenes distinctly resembles the present figure, especially in the delineation of musculature on the thorax. More active than any of these little boys, the present one – balanced in an open, active pose on one foot – is a cousin of the putti disporting themselves around the upper, circular frieze of the Paschal Candlestick (Planiscig 1927, p. 319, pls. 370–71). Owing to the absence of the attributes from either hand, the nature of the action and the identity of this figure are unclear. The only other known example, of secondary quality and mounted atop an inkstand (Museo Civico, Bologna), according to Planiscig holds a bent stick (“Krummstab”) in its raised hand, so as to appear to be striking at something either below on the ground on which it was once mounted (its foot has been broken at the point where it snapped away) or held in its lowered hand. Whatever was held in the hands was of cylindrical form, judging from the remnants in the clenched fists, and it is possible that the hands held not sticks, but snakes: this would have identified the boy as the infant Hercules struggling with the serpents sent to kill him in his cradle. However this may be, the statuette forms a significant addition to the body of work by the greatest bronze sculptor of the High Renaissance. C.A. related literature Leo Planiscig, Andrea Riccio, Vienna, 1927 U.Thieme and F. Becker, Allgemeines Lexicon der Bildenden Künstler, vol. 28, Leipzig, 1934, p. 261



antonio minello de’ bardi (c. 1465–1529) Bust of a Classical Heroine Marble 13 3⁄4 in. (34.9 cm) provenance: Private collection, England Having been in private hands, this bust has – apparently – been unknown to scholars until now. Its earlier, approximate, attribution to “a follower on Antonio Lombardo (1458–1516)” was immediately revised on sight of the object by the present writer to one in favour of Antonio Minello. It is extremely close in the type of head and the elaborate, all antica, coiffure, in its gentle turn downwards and leftwards and in the arrangement of the drapery, as well as in its nostalgic mood, to several of Minello’s documented marble carvings. The most notable comparison is to be made with a woman standing at the right edge of the relief of The Investiture of Saint Anthony (1513–19) in the chapel of the Arca del Santo in the Santo, Padua (Schulz 1987, p. 309, figs. 14, 15, 17; Schulz 1995, pp. 804–05, figs. 16–20). Like a life-size (95.5 cm high) polychromed terracotta bust of a woman in the Bardini Museum, Florence, the present small marble also closely resembles the head of Minello’s statue of Saint Justine also in the Santo at Padua (Schulz 1987, p. 292, figs. 2, 10–11). Furthermore it is close in style and all other respects to the one in a private collection, New York, that was convincingly attributed to Antonio Minello by Schulz and by Luchs, independently, in 1995. This looks up, not down, with an expression of pathos rather than nostalgia. Corroboration of these attributions can be found in comparisons with Antonio Minello’s signed marble statuette of Mercury in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Gregori 2003, I, pp. 437–38, no. X.17; II, p. 433; entry by R. Roani). C.A. related literature Ed. Mina Gregori, In the Light of Apollo: Italian Renaissance and Greece, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery–Alexander Soutzos Museum, Athens, 2003‒04 A. Luchs, Tullio Lombardo and Ideal Portrait Sculpture in Renaissance Venice, 1490‒1530, Cambridge and New York 1995, pp. 105–06 T. Martin, ‘Antonio Minello’, in The Dictionary of Art, ed. J. Turner, London and New York, 1996, XXI, pp. 632–33 A.M. Schulz, ‘Four new works by Antonio Minello’, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, XXXI, no. 2/3, 1987, pp. 291–326 A.M Schulz, ‘Two new works by Antonio Minello’, The Burlington Magazine, CXXXVII, no. 1113, 1995, pp. 105‒06



northern italy (trent or padua?) , c. 1552 The Imperial Elephant Soliman the Magnificent Bronze, with reddish-black patina 4 i ⁄ 2 in. x 6 3 ⁄ 4 in. (11.5 cm high, 17.2 cm long) This rare statuette, representing an elephant with lowered trunk, resembles in general terms some elephants from a bronze fountain once in Schloss Hessen, but it cannot have formed part of a water display, for its trunk is not pierced. It is therefore purely ornamental, and it seems to have been created as a souvenir of a real elephant, for the trunk, tusks, pendulous hide and toenails are well depicted, though the ears have an inaccurate ribbed structure. The date and place of manufacture, in the absence of specific data, can be determined only by connoisseurship. Earlier authorities have believed this elephant to be an example of the animal studies produced by the Paduan school and so placed it around 1500, but the more recent tendency has been to date it later, c. 1550. A terminus ante quem for its manufacture is provided by the inclusion of its image – which looks as though it was copied straight from this statuette – as an attribute of Africa on the frontispiece of an illustrated volume of national costumes after designs by Abraham de Bruyn published in Cologne in 1577. In view of its comparative naturalism and its relationship with other animal statuettes of this later period produced in southern Germany – especially table automata and on clocks – some authorities have even suggested that these examples may have originated in that area. But the facture and colour of the present statuette points ineluctably to northern Italy. The motivation for its creation may have been the fame of a particular elephant, ‘Soliman the Magnificent’, which was topical in the early 1550s. During the passage of this exotic beast through Trent a life-size wooden model was run up by a local sculptor on which to mount a firework display for its owner, Maximilian, Archduke of Austria (1527–1576; from 1564, Emperor Maximilian II). He, one of his entourage, or one of the prelates attending the Council of Trent at the time, could have encouraged a bronzist in north Italy to record its peculiar but pleasing appearance; the minor inaccuracies may be accounted for by the brevity of its stay. ‘Soliman’ was a young Asian elephant that Maximilian was taking home to Vienna from Madrid, where he had been staying (1548–51) at the court of his uncle, the Emperor Charles V. It was a gift from King John III of Portugal, stimulated by his marriage in 1548 to Maria, his own cousin. The king sent it to the archduke in Madrid writing as follows: “I think that you should give the beast a new name – that of the arch-enemy of the Christian West and of your princely House, the Sultan Soliman. In this way he will become your slave and be suitably humiliated. As an animal in your parades shall he enter into your residence in Vienna, he who had hoped to contrive your downfall.” Thus was a diplomatic resonance added to the gift, as a thank-offering on behalf of the whole of Europe and its dominions to the Habsburgs for repelling the marauding Turks under their Sultan, Soliman or Suleiyman the Magnificent, from the very gates of Vienna in 1529. Then began an amazing odyssey for the beast and its royal owners, overland to Barcelona and thence by sea to Genoa. From there Soliman had to travel all the way to Milan, to Trent and then over the Alps. Several of the inns where the elephant was accommodated changed their names to the impressive, ‘At the sign of the elephant’. From Innsbruck Soliman’s journey became easier, for he was floated downstream on a barge via the Rivers Inn and Danube to Vienna, where owner and elephant made a “joyous entry” on 7 May 1552. After the crowds were finally satisfied, Soliman was consigned to the imperial menagerie at 24

Kaisers Ebersdorf. An engraving, a medal and a couple of sculptures in relief depicting Soliman were made before his untimely death in December 1553, owing probably to the inclement climate and possibly an inappropriate diet. Four bones of his left foreleg were made into a curious stool for the mayor of Vienna (since 1678 in Kremsmünster Abbey, Austria). This remains as a tangible relic of one of the most famous elephants ever to have reached Europe. C.A. related literature G. Salmann, ‘Real and mythological animals in bronze from the Renaissance to the Baroque, Part 1’, in Connaissance des Arts, Encyclopedia, p. 69, note 7 H.R. Weihrauch, Europäische Bronzestatuetten, Brunswick, 1967, pp. 15–26, pl. 139 (wrongly identified with the ex-von Frey example, according to Salmaan)



pietro simoni da barga (documented 1571–89) The Medici Lion Bronze, verdigris patina all’antica 7 3⁄4 in. x 13 1⁄8 in. (19.7 cm high, 33.4 cm long) provenance: Possibly made for Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici, later Ferdinando I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, for the Villa Medici on the Pincio Hill, Rome, c. 1575 Pietro da Barga is well documented copying ancient statues on a small scale in bronze and all of his extant recorded bronzes have an all’antica patina to resemble classical bronzes. Between the years 1574 and 1588 the Medici inventory for Rome lists bronzes by Barga after antique models which were unavailable to Cardinal Ferdinando and also after contemporary models, notably Michelangelo. Amongst those listed are the Laocoön and the Farnese Hercules. These examples, after two of the greatest antiquities then known, bear the distinctive green surface all’antica which at this specific time should be considered a hallmark exclusive to Barga. On these and other grounds a firm attribution to Barga of the present work can be assured. Between 1570 and 1590 Flaminio Vacca (1538–1605) is known to have carved, as a pendant to an antique lion owned by the Medici, a second lion which was highly praised on its completion and subsequently placed in the Villa Medici in Rome, where it remained for two hundred years. Within the years 1574 and 1588 Barga was also working for Ferdinando, and must have known and associated with Vacca. The present Lion has a quality in facture identical with his fully documented bronzes that can be found in the Bargello. One particular point to be noted is the similarity between the bottom of the plinth on which the Laocoön is set and the plinth which supports the present lion: in both cases we can see the workings of the original tools in the terracotta. related literature M. Hochmann, Villa Medici, il sogno di un Cardinale – Collezioni e artisti di Ferdinando de’ Medici, De Luca, 1999, p. 208–11, nos. 37–40, illus. pp. 209–11



elia candido (active in Florence in the 1570s) A Pair of Flying Putti Bronze, warm brown patina over rich gold-red lacquer; 17th-century wooden walnut socles 11 in. (27.9 cm) overall provenance: Private collection, France The pair of bronzes here exhibited are securely associated with a bronze in the Staatliche Museen, Berlin, which, as Volker Krahn convincingly argues, is by the German sculptor Elias de Witte, called Elia Candido (Krahn 1988, pp. 16–17). The putti are seen in the act of flying, suspended in the air whilst presumably supporting or carrying missing attributes. The putti could possibly have been originally part of a larger scheme and were possibly holding the top of a banner. The physiognomy of their faces, especially the formation of their eyes and their idiosyncratic hairstyles, all confirm a full attribution to the elusive Candido, whose capolavoro was his bronze of Zephyr made for the studiolo of Francesco I in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The pose of both putti ultimately originate from Giambologna’s ideas of the third quarter of the sixteenth century, during which period he mused over the notion of the figura serpentinata with outstretched arms balanced by grace and poise. This theme, which occupied the artist’s imagination for several decades, was manifested through figures such as the Flying Mercury, the Fowler, the Little Kneeling Nymph, the Kneeling Venus and his marble Psyche. related literature Ed. V. Krahn, Maecenas und Berlin, exhibition catalogue, Kaiser-Freidrich-Museums-Vereins, Berlin, 1988 N. Penny, Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 1540 to the Present Day, Oxford, 1993, II, nos. 18, 19 F. Vossilla, Magnificenza alla corte dei Medici – Arte a Firenze alla fine del Cinquecento, Milan, 1997



giambologna (1529‒1608) Venus Urania or An Allegory of Astronomy c. 1585‒95 Bronze 14 1⁄4 in. (36.4 cm) high provenance: Private collection, France Giambologna’s sculpture known as Astronomy or Venus Urania is one of the most elegant and beautiful of all Renaissance statuettes. Yet until now only two casts of the model which early, objective evidence can show to date from the lifetime of the artist have been known. The present bronze, for the reasons outlined below, is demonstrably the third autograph cast to have been discovered. One of the two certain early casts is the signed and gilded version in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; the other is the version recorded as by the hand of Giambologna in an inventory of the collection of Markus Zeh in 1611. As Dorothea Diemer has established (‘Giambologna in Germania’, in Paolozzi Strozzi and Zikos 2006, pp. 115‒19; ‘Giambologna in Deutschland’, in Seipel 2006, pp. 168‒75), that bronze is now part of the Schönborn collection in Pommersfelden, Germany (although it has been little studied by scholars and never photographed). There are several differences between these two early casts. The Vienna bronze is 38.8 cm tall, the Pommersfelden is 36.5 cm tall. The Vienna bronze has a strap encircling the upper torso, the Pommersfelden version does not. The drapery atop the straight – edge extends below the proper left hand of the figure in the Pommersfelden version, but does not in the Vienna version. Larger, gilded and signed, the Vienna bronze should perhaps be considered the primary version. Yet the Pommersfelden bronze must also be recognized as an autograph work of major importance by Giambologna. As Dimitri Zikos has discovered (Paolozzi Strozzi and Zikos 2006, pp. 204‒06; Seipel 2006, pp. 234‒42), Markus Zeh’s father, Sebastian Zeh, lived in Florence in the 1590s and was a friend of both Giambologna and his first patron, Bernardo Vecchietti. In fact, both Giambologna and Vecchietti are documented as guests in Sebastian Zeh’s house. (Zeh worked for the Fugger bank, with whom Vecchietti did business on behalf of the Medici family.) It is highly likely that Sebastian Zeh acquired the Pommersfelden bronze from Giambologna in Florence in the 1590s. The present bronze is almost exactly identical to the Pommersfelden version. They are virtually the same height. The self-bases are the same in shape and size, and the irregularities of their edges correspond exactly. The design of the globe and its support are the same. The modelling and chasing of the features of the body, in every passage and detail, from the toes upwards, are very closely comparable in form and finish. The arrangement of the drapery along the top of the straight-edge and below the proper left hand closely corresponds. The fall of the drapery down the straight-edge and by the feet is also exactly alike. The details of the hair are very similar, except for one minor difference in the chasing: at the top of the centre of the forehead the hair on the present version forms a somewhat sharper point. Indeed, given the similarity of the two versions in all features, there can be little doubt that the two bronzes were cast from the same moulds and at the same time. Thus the present bronze is one of the earliest and finest statuettes by the artist still in private hands. It is a work of great historical importance as well as tremendous beauty. As an indication of its significance, it is telling that, of the other certain early casts, one belonged to 32

the Holy Roman Emperor and the other has been in the same princely collection for nearly four hundred years. Moreover, in its form, function and subject-matter the Venus Urania perfectly embodies the refined aesthetic vision and sophisticated taste of late sixteenthcentury Florence under the Medici. A.Bu. related literature C. Avery, Giambologna – The Complete Sculpture, Oxford, 1987 C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, Giambologna, Sculptor to the Medici, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1978 E. Dhanens, Jean Boulogne, Giovanni Bologna fiammingo Douai 1529 – Florence 1608, Brussels, 1956 M. Leithe-Jasper, Renaissance Master Bronzes from the Collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, exhibition catalogue, Washington, D.C., 1986, pp. 191‒97 Ed. B. Paolozzi Strozzi and D. Zikos, Giambologna, gli dei, gli eroi, exhibition catalogue, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, 2006 Ed. W. Seipel, Giambologna, Triumph des Körpers, exhibition catalogue, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 2006



hubert gerhard (c. 1540‒1620) / carlo del palagio ( 1538‒1598) (Circle of )

The Centaur Nessus abducting Deianeira Bronze 17 in. (43.2 cm) high provenance: Graf Waldburg, Schloss Assumstadt, Germany (said to have entered the ancestral collection from that of Kurfürst Max Emanuel of Bavaria via his mistress, Agnès Françoise de Louchier) When first published by Weihrauch in 1967, this group was mis-attributed to the workshop of Giambologna and Susini in Florence, because it is a derivation from one of their best-known models. Yet it is self-evidently a South German production, as is consistent with its provenance via the Grafs Waldburg from the Electors of Bavaria. The yellowish, brassy alloy in which it is cast and the lack of the golden brown translucent varnish usual on statuettes from the Giambologna–Susini workshops, as well as the octagonal base and support disguised as tumbling drapery, all point towards Munich or Augsburg as its probable place of production. This is borne out by the vigorous modelling and chiselling of detail on the hair, the faces and the hands, which, however, lacks the finesse and subtlety of Florentine examples. Apart from the provenance of this work, another version of the present composition with a provenance from the collection of the Markgraves of Baden (first inventoried in 1733) offers further proof of an origin in South Germany. Indeed the fur of the centaur’s pelt is indicated by striations over the surface in a manner typical of the treatment of animals made in that area for fountains, clocks and purely as statuettes. The ‘magnetic pull’ of the names of Giambologna and Susini has until now deflected any desire to seek the real authorship of this dynamic variant. Hitherto, furthermore, the comparative material has been dispersed in the specialist literature. Now, however, the magnum opus by Dorothea Diemer on Hubert Gerhard and his Florentine associate, Carlo di Cesare del Palagio, provides ready access to the relevant comparative examples. The present bronze is probably not by Gerhard himself, as he produced his own radically different interpretation of the subject, in which Deianeira is rescued by Hercules from her centaur abductor (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; Diemer 2002–03, II, pls. 211–14). Nevertheless, striking similarities are to be found between the faces of the present bronze and those of some of Gerhard’s principal works, for example – for Nessus – a whitewashed terracotta of Vulcan at his Forge over a chimneypiece (c. 1587) or a Hercules, on which he was perhaps helped by Carlo del Palagio (both Schloss Kirchheim an der Mindel; Diemer 2002–03, II, pls. 76, 82a); with respect to Deianeira, her triangular face with large eyes and slot-like open mouth with the upper teeth showing is a type regularly employed by Gerhard, for example in the Medusa of 1585–90 (Diemer 2002–03, II, pl. 100), the River Singold of 1590–91 on a fountain in Augsburg (Diemer 2002–03, II, pl. 31), the Angel holding a Holy Water Stoup of 1593–96 in St. Michael, Munich (Diemer 2002–03, II, pl. 173); and the Virgin and Saint John from a group of the Crucifixion in the Imperial Treasury, Vienna, of around 1610 (Diemer 2002–03, II, pls. 234–35). The soft, waxy rendering of the material of their robes also resembles that of the artificial ‘column’ of drapery that serves to support the heavy bodies of the rearing centaur and his victim in the present group. Probably the closest analogy for the alarmed face of Deianeira is provided by that of Lucretia threatened by Tarquin in a dramatic group that is known in some ten casts of widely


different facture and appearance (Diemer, I, pp. 405–10, pl. 266; II, pp. 178–79, nos. T-L 1-10). One of these was also in the collection at Baden Baden. This model has in the last analysis been ejected from Gerhard’s oeuvre by Diemer, but was accepted by earlier scholarly opinion. Interestingly for the present case, she suggests that the composition and a few of the casts may have originated in Florence, but then been replicated elsewhere, including some examples that were self-evidently cast in the same, south German, milieu as the present statuette. While the place of origin of the present group has thus been firmly established, its precise authorship within the circle of Hubert Gerhard, or further afield in Germany, remains less clear. Nevertheless, its readily apparent high quality and strong artistic character will surely permit an identification to be made before long. C.A. related literature D. Diemer, Hubert Gerhard und Carlo di Cesare del Palagio: Bronzeplastiker der Spätrenaissance, Berlin 2002–03 Sotheby’s, Baden-Baden, Die Sammlung der Markgrafen und Grossherzöge von Baden, 5–21 October 1995, lots 333, 323 H.R. Weihrauch, Europäische Bronzestatuetten, Munich, 1967, p. 215, no. 261, illus. 215



antonio susini (1558–1624) (after a model by giambologna ) The Fowler Executed c. 1580–1600 Bronze with reddish golden lacquer patina 12 1⁄4 in. (31 cm) high provenance: Ballyfin House, County Laois, Ireland The present cast by Antonio Susini of a model by Giambologna is newly discovered and previously unpublished. Alongside the version in the Louvre, the present statuette is perhaps the finest extant version of the model cast and chased by Antonio Susini. The Fowler is included among Markus Zeh’s 1611 list of authentic models by Giambologna; it is also mentioned in Baldinucci’s 1688 life of the artist. A silver version was first recorded in the Medici collection in the Tribuna of the Uffizi in 1589. The earliest documented bronze statuette of the subject was in the Salviati collection in Florence in 1609, where it was said to be (chased) by the hand of Antonio Susini, Giambologna’s principal assistant. It is also documented that in 1611 Susini made a version of the bronze as a princely gift from the Medici to Henry, Prince of Wales. Other seventeenth-century inventories record Giambologna/Susini versions of the bronze – in the collections of Bishop Alessandro del Monte in Rome (1628), of Archduke Leopold of Innsbruck, of Maximilian I of Bavaria (1641/42) and Queen Christina of Sweden (1652). There is only one extant version that is generally believed to have been cast by Giambologna; that bronze is in the Robert Smith collection, Alexandria, Virginia. In addition to the present cast, there are a further six examples in bronze which are believed by scholars to have been cast and chased by Antonio Susini – in the Detroit Institute of Arts, in the Castello Sforzesco, Milan, in a private collection in the USA, in the St Louis Art Museum, in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (ex Queen Christina) and in the Louvre in Paris. Among these other six versions, the Louvre version is generally thought to be the finest. No. 78 in the royal inventory, it is first documented in the royal collection in 1684. Anthony Radcliffe (1978) wrote that it was an “exceptionally fine and complete example”. Nicholas Penny (Penny and Radcliffe 2004, p. 158) calls the Louvre version “the most finely modelled” example outside the Smith collection. Alan Darr (2002) calls the Louvre version “superb”. It is also worth noting that it is the Louvre version of the bronze that Avery chose to reproduce in his monograph on the artist (1987). That the Louvre bronze is by Antonio Susini after a model of Giambologna is the opinion expressed in the catalogue of the exhibition Les Bronzes de la Couronne (Baratte et al. 1999). This opinion has been endorsed by Avery, Darr and Landais, and implicitly by Penny, as well as by others. The Louvre bronze may be compared with the present example. They are the same height, the present bronze being 31 cm high, the Louvre version also 31 cm high, according to Les bronzes de la Couronne (Baratte et al. 1999), though in Avery and Radcliffe 1978 it is said to be 30.4 cm high. In the Louvre version the fowler holds a stringed racket in his right hand and the upraised lantern contains an oil-lamp. In the present version he holds a stick in his right hand, and the oil-lamp is missing from the lantern, although it once had one. (No other version of the bronze has a stringed racket; in other versions the figure holds a stick in his right hand. It is thus possible that the stringed racket is an old replacement). 50

The present version and the Louvre version appear to be cast from identical moulds. The placement and morphology of the folds and the other details of the clothing appear to be exactly, or almost exactly, the same. The present version, however, seems even sharper and more articulated in the indication of some folds of drapery: for example, consider the treatment of the top of the leggings where they fall forward below the right knee, or the long folds along the pantaloon above the right thigh, or the folds and planes of drapery on the front of the jacket. In the present version they are especially crisp and precise, and display the distinctive characteristics of Antonio Susini’s style of chasing all the more clearly. In the extra degree of sharpness, our bronze is like that in the Nationalmuseum in Sweden, also made by Antonio Susini, from the collection of Queen Christina. The treatment of the facial features in the present and the Louvre versions is the same. For instance, in both versions the moustache is represented as a relatively thin line above the upper lip, while the beard is indicated as a wisp below the lower lip in a shape something like that of a comma or of a question mark. This represents a striking difference from the Smith version of the bronze (possibly chased by Giambologna himself ), in which the moustache is somewhat fuller and more uneven, and the Bargello version (often said to be by Pietro Tacca), which has no moustache at all. The formation of the hands, the indication of the bones and ligaments and the treatment of the fingernails are extremely close. Examining the two bronzes from the rear, one finds that their similarity is again confirmed. As in the frontal view, the shape, placement and treatment of the folds of the drapery are inescapably alike. Given these similarities, and given its clear stylistic characteristics, the present bronze can unequivocally be said to be by the hand of Antonio Susini. Furthermore, it ranks among the finest extant examples of this bronze, as comparison with the Louvre version indicates. A.Bu. related literature C Avery, Giambologna: The Complete Sculpture, Oxford, 1987, pp. 46–266 C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, Giambologna, Sculptor to the Medici, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1978, pp. 160–63, nos. 130–34 S. Baratte et al., Les Bronzes de la Couronne, exhibition catalogue, Paris, 1999, no. 78 W. von Bode, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Bilderwerke des Kaiser-Friedrich-Muséums. Die italienischen Bildwerke de Renaissance und des Barock, II Bronzestatuetten, 4th edn, Berlin and Leipzig, 1930, p. 36, no. 167 A. Darr, P. Barne and A. Bostrom, Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Detroit Institute of Arts, London, 2002, I, pp. 232–33, no. 109 (entry by A. Darr) E. Dhanens, Jean Boulogne, Giovanni Bologna fiammingo Douai 1529 – Florence 1608, Brussels, 1956, p. 212 L.O. Larrson, European Bronzes 1450‒1700, Swedish National Art Museums, Stockholm, 1992, pp. 66–67, no. 24 The Medici, Michelangelo and the Art of Late Renaissance Florence, exhibition catalogue, New Haven and London, 2002, pp. 212–13 (entry by A. Darr) N. Penny and A. Radcliffe, The Art of the Renaissance Bronze, The Robert Smith Collection, 2004 H. Weihrauch, Europäische Bronzestatuetten, Brunswick, 1967, pp. 223–24



antonio susini (1558–1624) Equestrian Portrait of Carlo Emanuele I, Duke of Savoy c. 1620 Bronze, dark brown patina with traces of red lacquer 14 i ⁄ 2 in. (36.8 cm) high, base 8 i ⁄ 2 in. (21.5 cm) high, overall 23 in. (58.3 cm) high provenance: Maria Beatrice of Savoy The bronze, once owned by Maria Beatrice of Savoy, depicts Duke Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy wearing armour distinguished by the cross of the Order of Saint Maurice. In its size and characteristics, the bronze can be compared to two works which have long been known and debated in specialist studies – another version of the same equestrian portrait found at Lowenburg in Kassel and apparently originating from Paris (38 cm high; Avery, Radcliffe and Leithe-Jasper 1978‒79, p. 242, no. 161a) and a bronze equestrian portrait of Henri IV of France in the Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon (38 cm high; Crepin-Leblond 2003, p. 135, no. 10). As Manfred Leithe-Jasper has observed (Avery, Radcliffe and Leithe-Jasper 1978), the horse in the latter sculpture is a mirror image of the former and, therefore, of the one exhibited here. The figures of the horsemen are also a mirror image, and both wear identical suits of armour. One can therefore suppose that the portraits of these two sovereigns were conceived as pendants, and such a theory finds support in the dynastic relationships between the Savoy and the sovereigns of France: Vittorio Amedeo, the son and heir (from 1630) of Carlo Emanuele I, married, in 1619, Maria Cristina, daughter of Henri IV and Maria de Médicis and sister of Louis XIII of France. Two small equestrian bronze portraits with the same collective history, depicting the Bourbon Henri IV and Vittorio Amedeo I respectively, were also commissioned for this occasion (Wallace Collection, London; Mann 1981, pp. 158–59). As has already been acknowledged, the horse in the bronzes of Dijon and Kassel and in the present exhibited example is very similar to the horse signed by Antonio Susini which is today in the Victoria and Albert Museum of London (Motture 2006, no. 61, p. 276). The portraits of Henry IV and Carlo Emanuele I have also been attributed to this sculptor and in fact they exhibit the same detailed style which Antonio habitually shows and the same extreme precision with which he typically carried out the cold work. According to Baldinucci, the wax model, which is now lost, for the small equestrian bronze monument of Carlo Emanuele I in Kassel dates to the year of the wedding between Carlo Emanuele I’s son and Henri IV’s daughter. The sculpture itself is dated around 1621–22; it is believed to have been made as an alternative after the large equestrian monument requested by the duke after he was sent the wax model failed to be realised. In truth, one of the related documents, a letter which the duke sent the sculptor on 5 October 1621, mentions a “cavallino”(little horse), a term which better suits a sculpture of the size of the bronze presented and of its pendant. According to every probability, therefore, the conception of our bronze dates back to this same occasion, when the court of Savoy turned to the artistic environment of Florence for inspiration. D.Z. related literature Ed. C. Avery, A. Radcliffe and M. Leithe-Jasper, Giambologna 1529‒1608. Ein Wendepunkt der Europäischen Plastik, Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 1978‒79 Thierry Crepin-Leblond, in Marie de Médicis, exhibition catalogue, Paris, 2003, p. 135, no. 10 J.G. Mann, Wallace Collection Catalogues: Sculpture, London, 2nd edn, 1981 P. Motture, in Giambologna: gli dei, gli eroi – Genesi e fortuna di uno stile europeo nella scultura, exhibition catalogue, ed. B. Paolozzi Strozzi and D. Zikos, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, 2006



florence , c. 1600 Crucifix Silver, pietra dura and ebony Cross 40 in. (101.6 cm) high, corpus 9 i ⠄ 4 in. (23.5 cm) high Stylistically this silver corpus can be associated with the school of Giambologna from the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Although an autograph author for the model has not been satisfactorily identified it must be attributed either to Giambologna or to his immediate circle. The corpus represents Cristo morto in silver, supported by a fine ebony cross and stand, beautifully inlaid with exquisite examples of agate, jasper and amethyst. The delicate modelling of the Christ and the pathos reflected through the shape of the corpus creates a sense of volume rarely surpassed on a small scale. The carefully selected materials impart an overall tonality to the object reminiscent of the elaborate but subtle taste of the grand ducal workshops, which produced such objects for the Êlite of Tuscany. Objects such as these also circulated internationally as diplomatic gifts from the grand dukes to their counterparts all over Europe. comparative literature C. Avery, Giambologna, Sculpture by the Master and his Followers, exhibition catalogue, Salander O’Reilly Galleries, New York, 1998



pietro tacca (1577–1640) (Workshop of )

Hercules and the Centaur Bronze, rich brown patina with extensive traces of red lacquer 16 3 ⁄ 4 in. (42.5 cm) high provenance: Christie’s, London, 9 May 1978, lot 178; Sotheby’s, Monaco, Important Mobilier et Objets d’Art, 26–27 May 1980, lot 1156 Pietro Tacca was born in the Tuscan city of Carrara, famous for its marble quarries, and would have spent his early years surrounded by the industry connected with the great sculptors and architects of Florence of his time. In the late sixteenth century he was apprenticed to Giambologna and employed in his workshop in Florence, and it is documented that in 1598 he received payment for work on Giambologna’s monumental equestrian bronze of Cosimo I de’ Medici. He soon achieved an elevated position in Giambologna’s workshop, as is attested by his inclusion, along with his master, on the payroll of Grand Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici. After Giambologna’s death in 1608 Tacca was quickly recognised as the court sculptor. Tacca was given the lifetime privilege of using Giambologna’s studio and original models for the production of his own sculptures. The present cast of Hercules and the Centaur can be dated about 1630 on the grounds of its colour, quality and casting. It is a small-scale cast of Giambologna’s monumental masterpiece of the subject, carved in marble during the last five years of the sixteenth century, when Tacca was already working alongside him. Giambologna is known to have made the original model for the subject about 1576; this was a model executed in silver, now lost. The rocky base on the present bronze is of the kind commonly associated with Pietro Tacca, and used by him to great effect in making his master’s models more naturalistic. The force of Giambologna’s mighty marble is easy to appreciate on a massive scale, but Tacca, on a small scale, has also succeeded in capturing the incredibly dynamic subject-matter of Hercules overpowering his adversary. The tension of the split moment, as Hercules pauses before he smites his foe, has not been lost in the reduction to bronze. Giambologna’s small-scale bronzes were highly prized during his lifetime and in the following centuries, and almost all the great collections of Europe, including the royal households, contain a group of bronzes from the great Mannerist master. Hercules and the Centaur is one of a few instantly recognisable icons of Renaissance sculpture, having a timeless ability to fascinate the viewer from all angles in the round. related literature C. Avery, Giambologna – The Complete Sculpture, Oxford, 1987 C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, Giambologna, Sculptor to the Medici, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1978 H.R. Weihrauch, Europäische Bronzestatuetten, Brunswick, 1967, p. 210, no. 253, illus. p. 210



florentine school (17th century) after a model by giambologna Walking Horse with Flowing Mane Bronze, mid brown patina with traces of darker lacquer 9 in. (26.7 cm) high provenance: Michael Jaffé One of the major types of small bronzes produced in Giambologna’s workshop is a walking horse similar in composition to the horse of the equestrian monument to Cosimo I in the Piazza della Signoria, Florence (1587–93). The model is listed by Baldinucci and has been continuously recast through the centuries. However, there is no documented or palpably autograph example of this favourite model of Giambologna’s, which was produced in series by Antonio Susini. However, an example in the Victoria and Albert Museum (A.148-1910) has been dated before 1605 by a thermo-luminescence test. That bronze, which qualitatively is as good as any other, was therefore cast within the lifetime of Giambologna. Details from the Cosimo I equestrian statue, such as the arrangement of the mane or the decorative braiding at the top of the tail, are repeated with minor variations on the statuette. As H.R. Weihrauch has suggested – and is obviously the case – the small horse was intended to form a pair with Giambologna’s Bull (see Avery and Radcliffe 1978, nos. 177, 178), as does the cast on a cabinet in the Galleria Colonna, Rome (see Keutner 1987, p. 300, no. XV). Such a statuette appears in proximity to the Bull and other models by or after Giambologna in the celebrated painting of The Gallery of Cornelis van der Geest by Willem van Haecht the Younger (1628, Antwerp, Rubenshuis). Prince Henry of Wales was also sent a pair of these models of Horse and Bull in 1611, the former particularly attracting the attention of his governor, General Cecil, who suggested that it might be passed on to his younger brother, the Duke of York, but Henry meanly refused to allow this. However, following Henry’s death from pneumonia in 1612, the future King Charles I inherited the horse, along with the rest of the ready-made collection (Watson and Avery 1973, p. 501). The present example is of a quality that suggests an origin in Giambologna’s workshop. It is close to the cast of the well-loved model that is in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, from the Green Vaults of the old castle. The tips of the nails securing its horseshoes are minutely indicated on some of the hooves, as are the heads in the shoe on the underside of the raised right fore-hoof. The present rendering is a little more classical, inasmuch as the veins on the shoulders and belly are less emphasized and closer to the cast in the Victoria and Albert Museum. C.A. related examples Chicago, Art Institute, inv. no. 60.887 Dresden, Grünes Gewolbe London, Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. A.148-1910 London, with Cyril Humphris in 1975 Madrid, Museo Arqueologico Nacional, inv. 52856 Modena, Galleria Estense New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Linsky Collection, inv. 1982.60.102 Schloss Pommersfelden Rome, Galleria Colonna (on a cabinet in the Sala dei Paesaggi) Stockholm, Nationalmuseum Stuttgart, Landesmuseum Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. 5843. Etc.


related literature C. Avery, ‘Giovanni Bologna and the Horse’, in Summer Exhibition, Partridge Fine Arts Ltd., London, 1987, pp. 9–12 C. Avery, Giambologna: The Complete Sculpture, Oxford, 1987, pp. 59, 161, pl. 162 C. Avery, ‘Giambologna’s Horses: Questions and Hypotheses’, in C. Avery, Studies in Italian Sculpture, London, 2001, pp. 254–76 C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, Giambologna, Sculptor to the Medici, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1978, no. 151 L. Camins, Glorious Horsemen. Equestrian Art in Europe, 1500‒1800, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA, 1981, no. 54 E. Dhanens, Jean Boulogne, Giovanni Bologna fiammingo Douai 1529 – Florence 1608, Brussels, 1956, no. LXIII, pp. 274, 280–81 S.J. Fleming, ‘Bronzes from the Giambologna workshop: two attributions’, MASCA Journal, I, no. 7, June 1981, pp. 205–07 H. Keutner, ‘Appendice: bronzi moderni’, in Galleria Colonna, Sculture, Rome, 1990 L.O. Larsson, European Bronzes, 1450‒1700, Swedish National Art Museums, Stockholm, 1992, p. 29, no. 6 Ed. Peter Laverack, Daniel Katz Ltd., 1968‒1993: A Catalogue Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Dealing in European Sculpture and Works of Art, London, 1992, pp. 72–75 Ed. B. Paolozzi Strozzi and D. Zikos, Giambologna: gli dei, gli eroi – Genesi e fortuna di uno stile europeo nella scultura, exhibition catalogue, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, 2006, pp. 274–75, no. 60 Ed. W. Seipel, Giambologna: Triumph des Körpers, exhibition catalogue, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 2006, pp. 289–90, no. 42 D. Syndram and A. Scherner, Princely Splendor: The Dresden Court 1580‒1620, exhibition catalogue, Hamburg–New York–Rome, 2004, pp. 280–81, no. 153 D. Syndram, M. Woelk and M. Minning, Giambologna in Dresden: die Geschenke der Medici, exhibition catalogue, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 2006, pp. 26–33 K. Watson and C. Avery, ‘Medici and Stuart: a Grand Ducal Gift of “Giovanni Bologna” bronzes for Henry Prince of Wales (1612)’, The Burlington Magazine, CXV, 1973, p. 501



gianfrancesco susini (1585–c. 1653) Europa and the Bull Bronze, with rich, iridescent reddish-golden varnish 13 in. (33 cm) high provenance: Private collection, Austria This fine, unpublished and unique statuette, which has come down to us in exceptional condition, with nearly all its original red lacquer intact, perhaps provided the source for a composition, otherwise known in five casts of rather indifferent quality, that has been connected with Giambologna on account of its correspondence with one of three convex marble reliefs decorating the shaft of his fountain of Ocean of c. 1575 in the Boboli Gardens near Florence (see Avery 1987, p. 270, no. 149 [3]; Capretti 2000, p. 107, pl. 2). The composition was presumably originally invented as a pair to Giambologna’s earlier group of the centaur Nessus carrying off Deianira, wife of Hercules (type A). The rearing position of the bull in the present group is virtually identical to that of these much inferior copies, though its head seems larger and is turned more pronouncedly towards the spectator. The bull is prettified with a wreath of roses tied by a ribbon round its horns into a bow on the nape of its neck. In the present statuette Europa’s unusual pose, including the vertical fall of the tail of her abandoned shift, is rational, by contrast to most of the copies – in which she gesticulates with her hand in mid-air! – since she is trying to steady herself by clinging on to the right horn of her captor. This motif is, however, found in an intervening variant – in which the bull balances on only one rear hoof! – known from a single cast of indifferent quality in the Palazzo Venezia (Capretti 2000, p. 106). Another variant, in which Europa kneels on the bull’s back and reaches upwards and forwards with her left hand, is known in a unique, not very good, cast in the Museo Correr, Venice (Capretti 2000, p. 262,


no. 59), which has also been associated – unaccountably – with Leone Leoni and the middle of the sixteenth century (Bode–Draper 1980, p. 69, 106, pl. CCXIV, 2). In the present statuette Europa’s other arm, rather than being extended, is bent at the elbow, with the hand bent right back at the wrist. Furthermore, her head is not thrown back so far, presumably in order that the face can be seen from the main frontal point of view. Her hair is luxuriant, hanging in a loose mane around and especially down behind her head, where it flies out in an amazing array of pointed locks. The tail of drapery hanging down in front resolves the diagonal thrust of the axis of the group into a vertical, providing a sense of stability. The surface of the bronze has been minutely striated in the process of finishing, which gives an iridescent appearance to the translucent, golden-red varnish when the light glances off it. The emergence of this gorgeous-looking and very refined example of the composition enables one to appreciate its full beauty for the first time. Details such as the wreath of roses on the bull’s head and Europa’s wild hair are the best clues to the artist who might have produced this refined bronze. The most likely candidate is Gianfrancesco Susini, a second-generation follower of Giambologna, whose extraordinary group of The Abduction of Helen by Paris ( John Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Skulpturensammlung, Staatliche Museen, Dresden; Fogelman, Fusco and Cambareri 2002, pp. 190–99, no. 24) is typified by the locks of the victim’s hair flying out behind in tousled, corkscrew curls. This motif is more pronounced here than it is in the groups of figures in pursuit made by the other possible candidate of the same generation, Ferdinando Tacca. Half a century later, the theme would be revisited during the last flowering of sculpture – especially in bronze – in Florence. Giambattista Foggini cast a bull rearing in the opposite direction, with Europa seated side-saddle and in a similar pose to the present statuette, but fully clad in deeply indented and swirling Baroque drapery (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Krahn 1988, p. 104, ill. 110; cat. no. 35, p. 252). To Foggini’s follower Giuseppe Piamontini there has been attributed a group formerly with the Heim Gallery, London (Capretti 2000, p. 109, pl. 3; Pratesi and Blasio 1993, III, pl. 441). C.A. related examples Formerly Chicago, formerly with Ernest Joresco (approx. 30 cm high; exhibited in Small Bronzes from Chicago Collections, Art Institute of Chicago, 1972); sold Christie’s, London, 8 December 1981, lot 237; Sotheby’s, London, 16 April 2002, lot 52 Florence, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, no. 433 (32.6 cm high; Dhanens 1956, fig. 127; Avery 1987, no. 94, pl. 306) Ickworth, Suffolk, The National Trust, by descent from Frederick Augustus Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry (died 1803) (Avery and Radcliffe 1978, no. 68) Milan, Koelliker collection Rome, Museo di Palazzo Venezia, inv. no. PV9285, from the Barsanti collection (26.5 cm high; Santangelo 1954, p. 54) Venice, Museo Correr, inv. no. Cl. XI, 36 (Capretti 2000, p. 262, no. 59)

related literature C. Avery, Giambologna: The Complete Sculpture, Oxford 1987 C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, Giambologna, Sculptor to the Medici, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1978 W. Bode (ed. Draper), Italian Bronze Statuettes of the Renaissance, New York, 1980 E. Capretti, ‘Uno sguardo su Europa nell’arte del Seicento in Italia’, in Il Mito di Europa, da fanciulla rapita a Continente, exhibition catalogue, Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence, 2000 E. Dhanens, Jean Boulogne, Giovanni Bologna fiammingo Douai 1529 – Florence 1608, Brussels, 1956 V. Krahn, ‘Europa auf dem Stier’, in Die Verführung der Europa, exhibition catalogue, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Kunstgewerbe Museum, Berlin, 1988 P. Fogelman, P. Fusco and M. Cambareri, Italian and Spanish Sculpture: Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2002 G. Pratesi and S. Blasio, Repertorio della scultura fiorentina del Seicento e Settecento, Milan, 1993



ferdinando tacca (1619–1686) A Model of the Monument to Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, at Livorno c. 1638–early 1640s Bronze figurines fixed upon an ebonized pedestal inset with panels in Sicilian red jasper, giltbronze frames, the captives’ chains attached to winged gilt-bronze scrolls 29 in. (73.7 cm) high, pedestal 13 i ⁄ 8 in. (33.4 cm) provenance: Catalogue of a Collection of Italian, Dutch, and Flemish pictures brought from abroad, by Mr. Greenwood, likewise some Capital Groups of Bronzes, Antique Marble Busto’s, Etc. Which will be sold by Auction by Mr. Prestage at his Great Room, the End of Savil-Row, next Conduit-Street, Hanover-Square, on Friday the 31st of January, and Saturday the 1st of February next, 1766, lot 44; David Murray, 2nd Earl of Mansfield (1727–1796), Scone Palace, thence by descent The monument to Ferdinando I de’ Medici situated in Piazza Micheli by the harbour of Livorno consists of a marble statue of Ferdinando by Giovanni Bandini (c. 1540–1599), commissioned by the grand duke in 1595 and completed in 1599, and of colossal bronze angle-figures of captives (four ‘Moors’) commissioned by Grand Duke Cosimo II from Pietro Tacca (1577–1640) in 1617 and completed by 1626 (Brook 2008, pp. 42–44, 73–74, figs. 51–74). The present model replicating Ferdinando’s monument is unknown to scholarship, nor is any similar copy known. The earliest record of the model is its appearance in a sale at Prestage’s in London in 1766, in which it was lot 44, described as “The Model of the Fountain at Leghorn, Cosmus V. with the Slaves, an exceeding high-finished, elegant Bronze” by “Pietro Zucca” (thanks to Charles Avery for this reference). Lot 42 of the sale was “A group of a Moor on a Horse, fighting a Lion”, which may be one of the hunting groups also attributed to Ferdinando Tacca, and it was offered in company with three small bronzes after models by Giambologna. It entered the Mansfield collection during the lifetime of David Murray, 2nd Earl of Mansfield (1727–1796). The bronze figurines are in excellent condition, expertly cast in a golden bronze coated with a thin reddish-brown varnish, in places darkened and worn through to the metal, where small repairs are visible. The surfaces are smoothly cleaned and finished by fine filing rather than by polishing. The modelling is anatomically accurate (with a touch of Mannerist elongation) but with a somewhat soft definition, and a fine stubble textures the shaven heads of the captives, which have at some time been dismounted and replaced in a different sequence. The model is evidently related to the seventeenth-century products of the granducal workshops of Florence. The slight but sensible modifications to the Pietro Tacca’s original ‘Moors’ and the reworking of the design of Bandini’s statue of Ferdinando I exclude, however, the possibility that this might be a mechanically reproduced Grand Tour memento. Although many small bronze versions of Pietro’s ‘Moors’ are recorded – which have now been shown to be after models by Giovanni Battista Foggini (Brook 2008, pp. 45–48, citing Lankheit 1982) – the compact surfaces of the present figurines have nothing of the painterly, busy surfaces of the late Florentine Baroque, being stylistically far closer to the lifetime of Pietro Tacca. Indeed their scooped and angular drapery folds identify them as of the school of Giambologna, though they do not meet the criteria of quality and style expected of his immediate followers, the Susini and Pietro Tacca himself. Nor does the figurine of Ferdinando I correspond to Pietro Tacca’s monumental statue of this grand duke for the Cappella de’ Principi (1626–44). The soft modelling of the anatomy of the captives, their large, 80

heavily lidded eyes, without pupils, set in deep, arched, browless hollows, with strong lines scored across the forehead, are, however, all characteristics to be found in the bronze altarrelief of The Stoning of Saint Stephen executed by Pietro’s son, Ferdinando, for the church of Santo Stefano in Florence (1649–55), in which again the body surfaces have been cleaned with the file but not polished, and fine trails of indentations are freely used to differentiate textures. The graceful pose of the figurine of Ferdinando I may be compared to the swaying, almost balletic movement characteristic of the two-figure groups ascribed to Pietro’s son Ferdinando: the pronounced quiff and thickly clustered curls on the nape of the ducal neck are also to be seen in his male figures (for which see Radcliffe 1976). An interesting comparison may also be made with a tiny bronze figurine of Orpheus attributed to Ferdinando Tacca (Sotheby’s, London, 10 December 1992, lot 91; only 17 cm high but finely detailed and finished), in which the drapery patterns of the cloak and the soft leather boots appear again and the swaying pose is essentially similar but in reverse. These and other details, such as the decoratively scalloped edging of the boots, the fullskirted kilt and the little quiver among the trophies on the pedestal, support the proposition that we have here a significant addition to the small-scale works of Ferdinando Tacca. The conservatism of style suggests an early dating, shortly before or after Ferdinando’s sojourn in Madrid (October 1640 to December 1642). A.Br. related literature A. Brook, Pietro Tacca a Livorno: Il monumento a Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Livorno: Comune di Livorno, 2008 K. Lankheit, Die Modellsammlung der Porzellanmanufaktur Doccia, Munich, 1982 A. Radcliffe, in Kunst des Barock in der Toskana, 1976, pp. 14–23



ferdinando tacca (1619‒1686) Mercury Bronze 13 in. (33 cm) high The present bronze is an unknown variant of Giambologna’s models of this subject, of which four main types, all larger, are recorded (for a recent commentary on these see Paolozzi Strozzi Zikos 2006; Seipel 2006). While it seems closet to the slender adolescent type, it also includes the Zephyr head of the almost life-sized version. Of its divergences, the most prominent are the treatment of the hair – in fuller, longer locks, curling over the sides of the petasos – and the left foot that stands upon the hair of the Zephyr, which bears no resemblance to known types. The face with its large eyes is also re-modelled from the originals. As in some other versions of the juvenile type, the upper body is canted slightly forward and the fingers on the right hand are curled over. Other examples on this smaller scale are known but no version is known that repeats the present variant. It may be closest to a type recorded in the inventories of the French crown collections described as “No. 271. Un Mercure en posture de s’envoler, dont le pied gauche est posé sur un vent ou Zéphir, haut de treize pouces [35.1 cm.], très belle copie de l’antique, estimée deux-cents livres”. The scale, quality and facture of the present bronze all point towards an attribution to Ferdinando Tacca, c. 1650. The physionognomy of the face, with the wide open eyes and delineated pupils, the overall oval shape of the face, and the highly Baroque longer curls of the hair all point towards a sculptor working in the high Baroque, but deriving inspiration from an earlier model. The rendering of the toenails, shaped flat and square, is also characteristic of the modelling of Ferdinando Tacca. We would like to thank Dr Anthea Brook for her contribution to this entry. related literature C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, Giambologna, Sculptor to the Medici, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1978, nos. 34, 35, pp. 85–88, illus. pp. 85, 87 C. Avery, Giambologna – The Complete Sculpture, Oxford, 1987, pp. 124‒28 Ed. B. Paolozzi Strozzi and D. Zikos, Giambologna, gli dei, gli eroi, exhibition catalogue, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, 2006, pp. 259‒69, nos. 53‒57



ferdinando tacca (1619–1686) Saint Sebastian c. 1642–50 Bronze 8 3 ⁄ 4 in. (22.2 cm) high provenance: James Lees-Milne, Bath This fine figurine of Saint Sebastian appears to be virtually unchased beyond the smoothing of the body surfaces with the file. The metal is golden-toned and patinated a warm light brown, and a thin light golden-brown varnish is used to define the musculature. The work is readily identifiable as from the Tacca family workshop: the head, with its long curly hair clustered high above the forehead and on the nape of the neck, and curling forwards over the cheekbone, may be compared with that of a model of Saint Sebastian, in which the dying saint hangs by his right hand, generally accepted as by Pietro Tacca (Scholten 2005, no. 22), known in several copies; or with one of two pairs of small bronze angels surmounting the four corners of the ciborium of the high altar of Santi Salvatore e Lorenzo at Badia a Settimo, evidently by the same hand. It is probable that the present figurine was also intended for an altar ciborium. The saint’s oval face, heavily lidded eyes, slender, slightly elongated limbs, finely modelled but softly defined anatomical detail and graceful pose would seem to place it in the late Giambolognesque manner of Ferdinando Tacca before he had moved very far from his father’s style. The same attenuated physical type may be seen in Ferdinando’s two-figure groups of Apollo and Daphne and Angelica and Medoro (see Radcliffe 1976, pp. 14–23), and the roots of the tree-trunk on the base of the latter group are similarly prominent here. The prominent trails of indentations texturing the base and tree-trunk relate to the relief of Saint Stephen and the stem of the bronze lectern by Pietro Tacca at Colle di Val d’Elsa (see Petrucci 2007, no. 29). The fringe of the drapery with its double bands of ornament is seen again in a bronze figurine of a Sleeping Nymph with a very similar finish, also attributed to Ferdinando (Avery and Radcliffe 1978, no. 74). A.Br. related literature C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, Giambologna, Sculptor to the Medici, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1978 A. Lees- Milne and D. Moore, The Englishman’s Room, Viking, 1986, illus. p. 86 F. Petrucci, Pietro Tacca, Carrara 2007 A. Radcliffe, in Kunst des Barock in der Toskana, Munich 1976 F. Scholten, From Vulcan’s Forge, London 2005



rome , 17th century The Farnese Bull Bronze, reddish brown patina with rich red lacquer 19 3⁄4 in. (50.2 cm) high, 14 1⁄2 in. (36.8 cm) wide, 15 in. (38.7 cm) deep provenance: Private collection, France Although the casting suggests an Italian origin for this reduction of the famous marble it is interesting to note that casts of the Farnese Bull were owned by Cardinal Richelieu, before 1642, by François Girardon, and by the Grand Dauphin, who had one in his apartment at Versailles by 1687, and so a French attribution cannot be ruled out. The fabled sculpture had been excavated at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome in 1545 and had been moved at the end of that year to the Palazzo Farnese, Rome. By around 1550, on the advice of Michelangelo, the excavated marble was partially restored and is known to have been placed in the second courtyard of the Farnese Palace, where it was to serve as a centrepiece for a fountain. This proposal was never executed, however, and by 1588 the plan had been abandoned. In 1788 the marble was moved to Naples by sea, being escorted, because of its importance and fame, by a warship until it arrived in port. Once in Naples, after further restoration, it was erected in the Villa Reale at Chiaia in 1791, and there finally become the centrepiece for a fountain. It was exhibited publicly for the first time in 1826 at the Museo Borbonico, which later became the Museo Nazionale in Naples. Known in the sixteenth century as “the mountain with the bull and four statues around it” (Haskell and Penny 1981, pp. 165–67, no. 15), by the 1580s this colossal masterpiece had been restored in accordance with Pliny’s account of the large marble group carved in antiquity by Apollonius and Tauriscus of Rhodes. The present bronze reflects its state at that time. related literature Ed. C. Avery, A. Radcliffe and M. Leithe-Jasper, Giambologna 1529‒1608. Ein Wendepunkt der Europäischen Plastik, Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 1978‒79, p. 262, nos. 180 and 181 F. Haskell and N. Penny, Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500–1900, New Haven and London, 1981 Ed. V. Krahn, Von Allen Seiten Schön – Bronzen der Renaissance und des Barock, exhibition catalogue, Skulpturensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, 1995–96, pp. 450–53, no. 157



rome , 17th century Lucius Verus White marble and breccia africano socle 35 1⁄2 in (90 cm) high provenance: Richard Child, 1st Earl Tylney of Castlemaine (died 1794) for Wanstead House, Essex. Thence by descent at Wanstead through his nephew Sir James Long, Bt (died 1794) to his daughter Catherine (died 1825), who in 1812 had married the Hon. William Pole TylneyLong-Wellesley, later 4th Earl of Mornington (died 1857); sold by Mr Robins, Wanstead House sale, 10 June 1822 and 31 following days, eight day sale, 19 June 1822, lot 247; purchased by Philip John Miles for Leigh Court, Bristol, thence by descent This magnificent monumental marble bust of the Emperor Lucius Verus (AD 130–169) is inspired by an ancient prototype and typifies the resurgence of a taste for the antique prevalent among the illustrious families of Rome during the lifetime of Bernini. Its early date is confirmed by the unmistakably Baroque flamboyance in the shaping and carving of the hair and of the tunic covering the military cuirass. The tightly curled and voluminous hair and beard suggest that it was this type of antique bust that inspired and was refined by Bernini in his male marble heads, for instance his wonderfully Baroque portrait of Aeneas in his grandiose marble of Aeneas and Anchises made for the Villa Borghese, Rome, and still in situ. It is interesting to note that Bernini, although the practice was known in ancient times, was the modern sculptor believed to have re-introduced the full and deep carving of the iris – and so we find the influence of the ancient on the modern and the re-interpretation of the modern imposed on to an ancient prototype. The fluidity of the leather tie securing the cuirass is also typical of Roman Baroque sculptors from the circle of Bernini. The important provenance of this impressive bust reflects the high degree to which generations of cultured connoisseurs and collectors have esteemed and regarded the sculpture.



leonhard kern (1588-1662) (Attributed to)

A Striding Dromedary German alabaster 8 in. (20.3 cm) high, 7 1⁄2 in. (19.1 cm) long Leonhard Kern, who came from a famous family of sculptors, was based in central Germany. He worked in Würzburg, amongst other places, but is particularly associated with Schwäbisch Hall, where he spent most of his artistic career. He was renowned throughout Germany for his small-scale sculptures in ivory and alabaster. These two media were both used for relief sculpture, but also for the creation of three-dimensional objects (see comparative examples listed below). Whilst no three-dimensional representations of camels are currently recorded in Leonhard Kern’s oeuvre, the attribution to him of the Striding Dromedary is supported by documentary evidence that Kern travelled to North Africa c. 1610–12, and there he would have seen at first hand the indigenous dromedary camel and would surely have been fascinated by this new and exciting subject. Kern’s known representations of animals are otherwise either in low or in high relief. Most striking among the comparisons to be made to them is between the present Dromedary and the high relief alabaster sculpture of the donkey in The Rest on the Flight into Egypt in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. The donkey in Vienna and the present camel share true ‘Kernian’ characteristics, including full, round modelling, the sculptor’s careful approach to detail, and a likeness in the overall scale and anatomy of the animals. The delineation of eyes and pupils is identical in both sculptures, and this ‘Kernian’ characteristic can be found repeated in several alabasters, including the Christ with Angels in the Liebieghaus in Frankfurt am Main (inv. 2386), the Pietà in the Kunstmuseum in Düsseldorf (inv. L1975-7) and the Seated Christ in the Kunsthistorisches Museum (inv. 4429). Another example of relevance to the present camel, among the sculptures brought together in the Leonhard Kern exhibition in Schwäbisch Hall in 1988, is an Adam and Eve dating to c. 1615, after Kern’s return from Africa (Leonhard Kern 1988, no. 59). The sculpture includes a donkey in the background, which again has an eye almost identical to that of the camel, and its forelock has a strong resemblance to the hair at the neck, shoulders and the tail of the camel. These are key indications linking the two works to the same artist. related literature Leonhard Kern (1588‒1662), Meisterwerke der Bildhauerei für die Kunstkammern Europas, Hällisch Fränkisches Museum, Schwäbisch Hall, 1988: Saint Sebastian, alabaster, Hällisch-Fränkisches Museum, Schwäbisch Hall (no. 56); Reclining Nude, alabaster, private collection (no. 57); Young Lovers, alabaster, private collection (no. 87); Allegory of Paradise, alabaster relief, Stiftsmuseum, Klosterneuburg (no. 60); Pietà, alabaster relief, Stiftsmuseum, Klosterneuburg (no. 61)



giovanni battista foggini (1652–1725) (Attributed to) Il Porcellino Bronze, rich brown patina 6 1⁄2 in. (16.5 cm) high, base 6 1⁄4 in. (16 cm), 12 1⁄4 in. (32.5 cm) high overall provenance: Private collection, England Giovanni Battista Foggini was the most important Medicean sculptor of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, and was so well respected within the Medici hierarchy that he was appointed head of the grand ducal workshops. Foggini’s skills across many disciplines should not be underestimated, as he was also a fine architect and draughtsman, but his main interest and natural flair lay in the production of small bronzes. The antique marble model of a boar, subsequently known as ‘il Porcellino’, was dug up in the vineyard of Paolo Ponti during the sixteenth century and given to Cosimo I de’ Medici by Pope Pius IV. It is reported by Vasari as being in the Pitti Palace, and was described by him as “Un porco cignale in atto di sospetto” (A wild boar at bay). Documentation attests that a model of a small boar that resided in the grand ducal gallery was made by Gianfrancesco Susini. Further testimony to its interest for the sculptural élite of Florence is the re-appearance of a bronze Porcellino signed by Antonio Susini. From this evidence we may conclude that a model was in existence from very early in the seventeenth century. The model would have passed through to Foggini when he took over the grand ducal workshops at Borgo Pinti from Ferdinando Tacca, who had previously inherited them from his father Pietro, Giambologna’s chief assistant. The facture and colour of the present Porcellino strongly suggest a date of around 1700. The exquisite quality and minute detailing of the surface of the bronze, even down to the finest hair and individual teeth, enable us to attribute this superb bronze to the greatest late Baroque Florentine sculptor, Giovanni Battista Foggini. Il Porcellino holds a special place in the heart of all Florentines thanks to the erection of Pietro Tacca’s life-size cast in the Mercato Nuovo in the centre of Florence. related literature F. Haskell and N. Penny, Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1550‒1900, New Haven and London, 1981, p. 161, no. 13, ill. p. 162 C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, Giambologna, Sculptor to the Medici, exhibition catalogue, The Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1978, p. 196, no. 187, ill. p. 197



giovanni battista foggini (1652–1725) Il Pasquino (Menelaus with the Body of Patroclus) Bronze, rich warm brown patina with golden red lacquer 19 3⁄4 x 12 1⁄2 x 10 1⁄2 in. (50 x 32 x 27 cm) provenance: Private collection, England This group embodies several refinements on an earlier composition that was manufactured by Pietro Tacca on the basis of a fragmentary ancient marble group and a wax sketch-model by Giambologna for its proposed restoration. The author of the refinements was the Florentine Baroque sculptor to the court of the Medici, Giovanni Battista Foggini, as is proven by the existence of models and piece-moulds for the group among those acquired from among his studio effects by Marchese Ginori for re-use in his new porcelain manufactory at Doccia (Lankheit 1982). The main variations introduced by Foggini into Tacca’s composition (as seen in an earlier cast that was once with Cyril Humphris, London; see Torriti 1975, p. 96, note 2, and cat. no. 16) consist, first, in the introduction of greater emotional feeling into the expression on the face of Menelaus, whose eyes are now endowed with pupils and irises and evince a more subtle rendering of the muscles and skin around them, creating a mood of pathos; secondly, in the more aggressive, expressionistic, angular forms of the naturalistic base, which now has the character rather of a rock formation than simply of a mound of earth on the field of battle; thirdly, in the carefully striated rendering of bark on the supporting tree-stump by means of a matt-punch; and, fourthly, in the introduction of an elaborately ornamented sword and scabbard, separately cast and chased, which are pinned to the Menelaus’s left hip (replacing a dagger in Tacca’s composition). These last examples are exquisitely modelled, just in the same way that genuine, full-scale ornamental metalwork for the Florentine court would have been. Similarly, by comparison with Tacca’s original rendering, the decoration of the helmet has been slightly enhanced: the snout of the marine monster over its frontal peak now sticks out over the tip, rather than resting just behind it, while the central band behind now forms part of its face, leaving eye sockets and an indication of a dorsal spine instead of being flat. Along with these imaginative improvements to the ornamentation, the details of the hands and feet, notably the nails, are more exquisitely rendered by Foggini. This is the first example of the composition by Foggini in bronze to emerge and as such is an important addition to his sculptural œuvre. It is worth noting how a strong interest in antiquity survived the onslaught of the fantastic exaggerations of the Baroque, and would shortly after Foggini’s death re-emerge as the mainstay of sculptural style. C.A. related literature C. Avery, Giambologna: An Exhibition of Sculpture by the Master and his Followers, from the Collection of Michael Hall Esq., exhibition catalogue, Salandar-O’Reilly Galleries, New York, 1998, pp. 152–53, no. 54 Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny, Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture, London, 1981, pp. 291–96, no. 72, fig. 154 K. Lankheit, Die Modellsammlung der Porzellanmanufaktur Doccia, Munich, 1982, pl. 141 U. Procacci, La Casa Buonarotti, Florence, 1965, pp. 199–200, no. 15 P. Torriti, Pietro Tacca di Carrara, Genoa, 1975, p. 96, note 2, and cat. no. 16



florence, c. 1700 Dancing Faun (Cymbal-player) Bronze, light golden patina 12 1⁄2 in. (31.8 cm) high provenance: English private collection Florence produced bronzes of outstanding quality from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, with a high point in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. The leading sculptor for bronzes after the antique in the city at that time was Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi (1656– 1740), whose authorship of this bronze is a possibility that should be considered. Soldani’s admiration for the ancient model replicated here is documented in a letter he wrote to the Prince of Lichtenstein in 1695, in which he commented, “The faun is the most beautiful statue to be seen”. An antique statue of a Dancing Faun seems first to be recorded in a book on Roman costume by Rubens’s son Albert published in 1665, but, since the re-appearance in 1989 of Adrien de Vries’s Juggling Man of c. 1610, we should accept that the original model was available to view by travelling artists before this date. There are indications that it was in Rome around 1560, in the ownership of the Medici. At some point between that time and the middle of the seventeenth century it was moved to Florence, and was one of the masterpieces exhibited in the Tribuna of the Uffizi by 1688. The model of the Dancing Faun exudes all the attributes of the ancient ideal of contrapposto. The artist has turned the whole idea of a young faun playing the cymbals and, with his foot, the scabellum into one of the most lyrical and rhythmic representations of such a mythological subject known. related literature Montfaucon 1712, p. 252, illus. p. 254 F. Haskell and N. Penny, Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1550‒1900, New Haven and London, 1981, p. 205, fig. 207



france , early 18th century After models attributed to massimiliano soldani-benzi (1656–1740) A Pair of Classical Busts Bronze 11 in. (28 cm) high, socles 3 in. (7.5 cm), 14 in. (35.5 cm) overall Another example of this pair of busts, in the collection of Schloss Pommersfelden, was convincingly attributed to Soldani by Weihrauch by virtue of their similarity in style and facture to the documented bronze busts after the antique by him in the Liechtenstein collection. The compositions of the present pair do not derive from antique models, though a prototype for the bust of the faun survives in the Hermitage (Liebmann et al. 1988, pp. 58–59, no. 26; Androsov 2007, pp. 72–73, no. 56). Although currently attributed to Baccio Bandinelli, the marble bust in question was traditionally thought to be the work of Michelangelo, and would consequently have seemed to Soldani an appropriate source of inspiration. The correspondence of the heads is exact, but Soldani omitted the fruit from the hair and changed the arrangement of the goatskin about the chest. The softly modelled features and drapery of the Moustachioed Man seem to reflect the hand of Soldani, who was presumably called upon (or inspired) to produce a pair for the Faun. The present casts, however, look French, from the reign of Louis XV, rather than Florentine. There was a two-way traffic in the design of sculpture between Italy and France following the establishment in Rome of the French Academy, over which – towards the end of his life – Bernini had presided. Soldani, Foggini and other Florentines similarly received their early training in Rome at the academy founded there in imitation of the French by Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici. C.A. related literature H.R. Weihrauch, review of K. Lankheit, Florentiner Barockplastik, Pantheon, November–December 1963, pp. 338–39, figs. 3–4 M. Liebmann et al., Western European Sculpture from Soviet Museums – 15th and 16th Centuries, Leningrad, 1988 S.O. Androsov, The State Hermitage Museum: Italian Sculpture 14th – 16th Centuries: The Catalogue of the Collection, St Petersburg, 2007



giovacchino fortini


Prudenza Feroni White marble 39 1 ⁄ 2 in. (104 cm) high overall provenance: Fabio Feroni; Piero Bigongiari Fortini, who studied under Giuseppe Piamontini and Giovanni Battista Foggini, represents the taste of the late Medici court in Florence. He is well known for the work he undertook for the Feroni Chapel in Santissima Annunziata, Florence, a commission directly connected to the present bust of Prudenza Feroni. This bust of Prudenza Feroni, together with one of her husband Francesco, was commissioned in 1702 by their son, Fabio Feroni. Prudenza Feroni, née Tensini, came from a North Italian family who had moved to Antwerp, where she met and married Francesco Feroni whilst he was residing in the Low Countries; he was a merchant, naming one of his largest and most important ships after her. Prudenza’s bodice is of a style worn in the Low Countries in the seventeenth century and appears very formal, whilst the apparent eccentricity of her hair bears testimony to the extravagant and virtuoso skill of Fortini. His capabilities with the chisel and drill allowed him to create magnificent representations of his patrons in marble on a grand scale whilst retaining sensitivity to the finer details. The present bust is also interesting in that it represents its sitter as a young woman, possibly as her son Fabio fondly remembered her after her death in 1673. There are comparable examples of retrospective portraiture, such as Giovanni Battista Foggini’s bust of Vittoria della Rovere, representing her as she appeared in her twenties, and Rubens’s modification of his portrait of Giovanni Carlo Doria to make him appear younger than his thirty years of age at the time of sitting. We would like to thank Sandro Bellesi for his contribution to this entry. related literature The Dictionary of Art, ed. J. Turner, London and New York, 1996, II, p. 322 S. Bellesi and M. Visonà, Giovacchino Fortini. Scultura architettura decorazione e committenza a Firenze al tempo degli ultimi Medici, 2008



nicolas coustou (1658–1733) (After a model by; early 18th century)

Adonis Resting after the Hunt Bronze, olive patina with darker lacquer 14 in. (35.6 cm) high provenance: David Daniels, New York Born in Lyons, Coustou was apprenticed to his uncle in 1676 and won a first prize for sculpture in 1682, enabling him to travel as a pensionnaire of Louis XIV to Rome, where he remained from 1683 to 1686. He was enrolled in the Paris Academy in 1693, and was endowed by the king with the privilege of living at the Galeries du Louvre for thirty years. One of Coustou’s principal marbles was Adonis Resting after the Hunt, which was executed about 1708–10 for the royal Appartements Verts at Marly. The bronze presented here is a contemporary cast of this narrative conception of Adonis, resting on a tree trunk, looking to his right and with his hunting staff at his left. As a hunter he is accompanied by a hound, apparently on the alert at the approach of the spectator. exhibited The French Bronze, 1500–1800, Galerie Knoedler & Co., New York, 1968, cat. no. 45B

related literature The French Bronze, 1500–1800, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Knoedler & Co., New York, 1968, cat. no. 45B



vincenzo foggini (active 1730–50) (18th century, after a model by)

Samson and the Philistines Bronze, olive, brown patina with darker lacquer 25 1⁄2 in. (64.8 cm) high Vincenzo Foggini, the son of the great Late Baroque sculptor Giovanni Battista Foggini, was strongly influenced by the great periods of Florentine sculpture which preceded him. The present bronze is a reduction of a monumental marble group by Vincenzo purchased by Charles, Lord Malton, later 2nd Marquess of Rockingham (1730–1782) and installed in Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire. This masterpiece is now a centrepiece, alongside Giambologna’s Samson and a Philistine, in the long gallery in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The obvious influences for the composition were the two unrivalled sculptors Michelangelo and Giambologna. The present Samson and the Philistines is strongly influenced by Michelangelo’s Samson and Two Philistines, a bronze cast of which is held in the Skulpturengalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, although it also shows a strong connection to Giambologna’s Samson slaying a Philistine. The main difference between the two is that Michelangelo’s has three figures, whereas Giambologna’s has two, and Giambologna’s Samson is in total victory as opposed to Michelangelo’s still struggling and combative Samson. The present composition, in a pyramidical format, is an arrangement of three figures, the two Philistines forming the base and the triumphant Samson the peak as he bears down on his overpowered foes. There is a sinuous rhythm in the twisting and contorted musculature of the two Philistines as they try in vain to resist the superior power of their victor, expressed by the noble pose of his upright body and outstretched arm. This is a Florentine cast from the lifetime of Vincenzo, as is evident from the high quality of its casting and modelling. related literature H. Honour, ‘English Patrons and Italian Sculptors in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century’, Connoisseur, no. 141, June 1958, pp. 224–25 K. Lankheit, Florentinische Barockplastik: Die Kunst am Hofe der Letzten Medici, Munich, 1962, pp. 72–73, 269, doc. 258 K. Lankheit, Die Modellsammlung der Porzellanmanufaktur Doccia, Munich, 1982, p. 119, no. 4



pietro cipriani (c. 1679–1745) A Pair of Busts: Geta and Plautilla Bronze, warm brown patina, reddish gold lacquer; socles verde di Prato Both 18 1⁄2 in. (47 cm) high, bases 6 in. (15 cm) high, 24 1⁄2 in. (62 cm) overall provenance: Commissioned from the artist by Thomas, 1st Earl of Macclesfield, thence by descent to Richard, 9th Earl of Macclesfield Pietro Cipriani was Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi’s most able and competent assistant in Florence at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Thanks to this position he enjoyed direct contact with the milordi on the Grand Tour in one of Italy’s most cultured cities. He gained the commission for this pair of bronze busts from Lord Parker, 1st Earl of Macclesfield in 1722 through the recommendation of his master, who at the time was working on an ambitious project for the monumental tomb for Fra Marcantonio Zondadari, Grand Master of the Order of Saint John of Malta. That he should pass such an illustrious commission on to Cipriani bears witness to the high esteem Soldani held for his protégé. Since the plaster moulds of antique models that were used for the casting of the busts were highly prized and fiercely protected by Soldani, that he should entrust them to Cipriani is another testament to his unshakeable faith in his most favoured assistant. This pair of busts, along with a life-size pair of bronzes depicting a Dancing Faun and the Medici Venus, were Cipriani’s most important commission and represent the pinnacle of his career. Lord Parker’s tutor, Edward Wright, wrote that Cipriani had promised that his bronzes “should at least equal Soldani’s, and be the most exact that were ever made” (Wright 1764, p. 412). Lord Parker discussed the bronzes in a letter dated 18 October 1724 to the architect Alessandro Galilei. The subjects for the busts are the Empress Plautilla, wife of Caracalla, and his brother and co-emperor Geta. The original Roman marbles were part of the Medici collection held at the Uffizi, and the busts had been united as a pair under the reign of Grand Duke Cosimo III. This pair of busts of exceptionally fine quality, both in their casting and chasing, enables us to appreciate the exquisite technical ability of the Florentine masters of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. The busts have been in situ at Shirburn Castle for approximately 280 years, and they have retained all their original rich Florentine gold-red lacquer. To find bronzes in this original, untouched condition is very rare and a complete pleasure for the discerning eye. The hours of cold chiselling dedicated to the finishing of these remarkable bronzes is impossible to calculate. The labour is manifest in the high detail both of the formal hairstyle of Plautilla and of that worn by Geta. The young empress is portrayed wearing a classical Roman over-garment, which is wrapped around her body and brought over her left shoulder, introducing an easiness to her overall pose. She gazes downwards to her right as if in quiet contemplation. Dressed in stricter attire, complete with a fibula attached to his tunic, Geta conveys a more official aura, alluding to his position as co-emperor to Caracalla. related literature T.P. Connor, ‘The Fruits of a Grand Tour – Edward Wright and Lord Parker in Italy, 1720–1722’, Apollo, July 1998, pp. 23–30, fig. 5, p. 26 G. Mansuelli, Galleria degli Uffizi – Le Sculture, Rome, 1961, II, pp. 113, 114, nos. 139, 141 Die Bronzen der Fürstlichen Sammlung Liechtenstein, exhibition catalogue, Museum alter Plastik, Frankfurt, 1986–87 Ed. G. Pratesi, Repertorio della scultura fiorentina del Seicento e Settecento, 3 vols., Turin, 1993 E. Wright, Some Observations made in Travelling through France and Italy in Years 1720, and 1722, London, 1730; 2nd edition, 1764



filippo della valle (1698–1768) Cupid and Psyche Bronze, rich brown patina 6 1⁄2 in. (16.5 cm) high overall Filippo della Valle was trained by his uncle, the illustrious Giovanni Battista Foggini, upon whose death he travelled to Rome and studied with Camillo Rusconi. With Pietro Bracci he won the first prize for sculpture at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome in 1725. He was elected a full member of the Accademia in 1730, which placed him in a position to obtain commissions from Popes Clement XII and Benedict XIV. Della Valle, even whilst copying ancient models for British Grand Tourists in Rome, never lost his own style, characterized by soft facial features and angular drapery. The famous Trevi Fountain has statues of Salubrity and Fecundity carved by Della Valle. He was probably also trained as a medallist under his uncle Foggini, which would have provided an excellent grounding for his later production of smallscale bronzes. This present pair of intimate bronzes represent Cupid and Psyche as sensitive and innocent infants. The sculptor’s own life-size marble of Amor and Psyche, now in the Wallace Collection, London, was the main inspiration for these charming sculptures, but the Cupid also reflects the influence of the children depicted by the great Flemish sculptor François Duquesnoy, who also worked in Rome. The Psyche, however, should be considered entirely a creation of Della Valle’s. V.H. Minor (1997, p. 49) has beautifully described the qualities of Della Valle’s putti: “This pair of Amor and Psyche is manifestly in Della Valle’s style. There are certain characteristics that identify Della Valle’s putti. The bodies are soft, sensuous and fleshy. Hands in particular reflect this supple, almost boneless quality. The wrist, back of hand and articulated, pliant fingers undulate like waves; characteristically we find dimples at the base of the fingers and folds of fat above the wrist. Also distinctive of della Valle (again autographic) is the treatment of hair. It appears brushed into gentle twisting locks that sweep over the ear, usually leaving a loose strand to fall in front. Chins are flattened and sometimes dimpled, lips are full and beestung, and there is the typical way in which the eye socket reveals itself both through the rounded ridge of the brow and the slight indentation just below the eye. The typical drapery patterns, so coyly pulled up between the babies’ thighs, are treated with that angular and crisp clarity that shows Della Valle’s Florentine training.” Thanks to Tobias Desmet for his assistance in this entry. related literature H. Honour, ‘Filippo Della Valle’, Connoisseur, no. 144, 1959, pp. 172–79 Ed. V. Krahn, Von Allen Seiten Schön – Bronzen der Renaissance und des Barock, exhibition catalogue, Skulpturensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, 1995–96, pp. 608–09 V. Minor, ‘Filippo Della Valle’s Monument to Sampaio: An Attribution resolved’, The Burlington Magazine, CXVII, 1975, pp. 659–63 V. Minor, ‘Della Valle and G.B. Grossi Revisited’, Antologia di Belli Arti, no. 2, 1978, pp. 233–47 V. Minor, ‘Della Valle’s Last Commission’, The Burlington Magazine, CXXII, 1980, pp. 44–45 V. Minor, ‘Filippo Della Valle as Metalworker’, The Art Bulletin, LXVI, 1984, pp. 511–14 V. Minor, ‘Della Valle or Cayot?: The Art of Deceiving Well’, Apollo, no. 123, 1986, pp. 418–21 V. Minor, Passive Tranquillity: The Sculpture of Filippo Della Valle, Philadelphia, 1997 V. Moschini, ‘Filippo Della Valle’, L’Arte, no. 28, 1925, pp. 177–90 A. Riccoboni, Roma nell’arte: La scultura nell’evo moderno dal Quattrocento ad oggi, Rome, 1942, pp. 288–91 U. Schlegel, ‘Notizen zu Italienischen Skulpturen des Barock’, Antologia di Belli Arti, nos. 25/26, 1985, pp. 55ff.



german school , 18th century Saint Michael in Victory Polychrome carved wood 15 1â „2 in. (39. 5 cm) high, base 2 1â „2 in. (6.5 cm), 18 in. (46 cm) overall This beautiful and colourful rendition of the victorious Saint Michael holding an emblazoned banner is reminiscent of the sculptors working in the German and Austrian states during the Rococo period. Throughout central Europe at that time there was a particular penchant for brightly coloured decorated statues, and this is an especially fine example, on an intimate scale, of the taste for decoration prevalent during the middle of the eighteenth century.



jean-baptiste pigalle


Venus and Mercury White marble 42 in. (106.7 cm) and 39 in. (99.1 cm) high provenance: Fermier Général Bouret de Vézelay, 1762, from whom purchased; Marquis d’Aligre, by descent; Marquis de Pomereu, 1801, by descent in the family until 1977; Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York, 1977, until purchased by Barbara Piasecka Johnson, 1980 Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, who began his training under the guidance of Robert Le Lorrain and Jean-Baptiste II Lemoyne, became one of the foremost sculptors in France during the Rococo period of the eighteenth century. After his initial training he travelled to Italy to study in Rome, and whilst returning to France stopped at Lyons, where he probably executed the initial model for Mercury attaching his Wings. In 1741 he presented the terracotta model, which is probably the example now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, to the Academy in Paris. The following year he was commissioned to execute plaster statues of Mercury and Venus, which were exhibited at the Salon of that year. In 1744 he presented a small marble version of Mercury as his morceau de réception to the Academy; this is now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. Also Louis XV presented, as a gift to Frederick II of Prussia, a large pair of marbles by Pigalle depicting Mercury and Venus; however, Venus in this pair displays a pose differing slightly from the present example. Clearly these models were received extremely well and became immediately sought after, for which there is evidence in other examples (on a slightly smaller scale) at Waddesdon Manor, and a lead version of the Mercury, formally in the collection of the duc de Penthièvre, which now resides in the Louvre. The execution of the present example of Mercury compares closely with the marble in the Louvre. A hallmark of Pigalle’s style are the sharply defined pupils of the eyes, which can be seen in both examples and give a wonderful sculptural quality to the face. With his muscular contrapposto, leaning down to tie his wings and gazing heavenwards, Mercury expresses a subtle masculinity which is heightened by Venus’s demure femininity. Whilst resting on a cloud, Mercury has laid down his caduceus, symbol of his role as messenger of the gods. In near mirror image Venus is also portrayed on a cloud, but with a symbol of love, a coupling pair of doves, at her feet. The importance and influence of this pair of marbles on the development of European sculpture deserves to be appreciated. The depiction of Mercury’s head and helmet has become one of the most recognized and celebrated models of Mercury in the history of art. Pigalle’s Venus is also a significant contribution to the array of representations of this mythological figure. She is presented in an unusual and original way and her sublime beauty is timeless. related literature T. Hodgkinson, The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor: Sculpture, London, 1970 S. Lami, Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l’école français au dix-huitième siècle, Paris, 1970, reprinted 1991, II, p. 245 Jean-Baptiste Pigalle 1714‒1785: Sculptures du Musée du Louvre, Paris 1985, pp. 38–47 L. Réau, J.-B. Pigalle, Paris, 1950



françois-marie poncet (1736–1797) A Pair of Fauns One signed, PONCET . F . ROMA . White marble 23 1⁄2 in. (59.7 cm) overall provenance: Private collection, Rome François-Marie Poncet was one of the main Neoclassical exponents of sculpture after the antique, working in Rome in the last third of the eighteenth century. After studying with Falconet at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Paris, he went on to become a member of the Accademia degli Arcadi and later a member of the Accademia di Bologna. Poncet was known amongst his contemporaries as a sculptor of great talent, although hitherto there have been only eight works extant by him known. This re-discovered pair makes a significant addition to his signed work. The present pair of beautifully carved white marble statues are amongst the most elegant representations of Grand Tour taste. Their subject, two fauns, was at the forefront of the subjects favoured by English milordi making the Grand Tour. Many of the great country seats, as well as city residences, belonging to the cultured British tourists, like the great palaces of Europe, especially Rome, had small-scale and large-scale models in marble and bronze after the most celebrated statues of antiquity. The present pair are high-quality versions of notable antiques, surely made for a high-ranking client. This pair of statues were carved c. 1765, when the resurgent taste for classical decoration and decorative art was at its height. Its chief exponents were Robert Adam and G.B. Piranesi. One can imagine the pair of fauns beautifully posed on a Neoclassical console table or a classically proportioned chimneypiece in an interior inspired by the antique such as Harewood House, Yorkshire, or Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. related literature

S. Lami, Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs de l’école française au XVIII siècle, II, Paris, 1911; ed. Kraus, Paris, 1970 O. Michel, ‘François-Marie Poncet (1736–97) et le retour a l’Antique in Lyon et l’Italie’, Etudes d’histoire de l’art, 1984



michael henry spang (died 1762) (probably cast by E. Burch) Écorché Bronze, mid-brown patina with traces of black lacquer 9 in (22.9 cm) high provenance: Estate of Richard Weininger, 1980 The present bronze model of a male écorché, formally attributed to Pietro Francavilla, is now documented as having been executed by Michael Henry Spang, a Danish sculptor working in London, in the circle of Roubiliac. It was made to assist Dr William Hunter (1718–1783) for anatomical reference in the course of his lectures at the Royal Academy, at which he held the position of Professor of Anatomy from 1768 until his death. Bronze casts of the écorché were produced by Edward Burch (1730–1814), who exhibited two of them, “from a wax model”, at the Royal Academy in 1775. This model exemplifies the interest in anatomy taken up by academies all over Europe at the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment. Spang’s écorché has become one of the most recognised models of this genre, along with those of Cigoli and Houdon. related literature Ed. P. Black, “My Highest Pleasures”: The Art Collection of Dr William Hunter, London, 2007, cat. 103 A. Graves, The Society of Artists of Great Britain, 1760‒1791, 1907, p. 242, no. 162 R. Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors, 1660‒1851, revised edn (The Abbey Library), p. 361



jean-antoine houdon (1741–1828) A Portrait Head of Voltaire Signed and dated HOUDON. 1778. Bronze, rich dark-brown patina 13 1⁄4 in. (33.5 cm), socle 4 in. (10.2 cm), 17 1⁄4 in. (43.8 cm) overall Born in Versailles, Jean-Antoine Houdon was a child prodigy. Having studied under MichelAnge Slodtz, in 1761 he won the Prix de Rome, and was sent to Rome in 1764 as a pensionnaire of the king. Upon his return to Paris in 1769 he was made a full member of the Academy, and quickly became recognised as the outstanding sculptural genius of the French Enlightenment period. Houdon had a long-standing relationship with America, as is testified by his iconic busts of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and his bust of Thomas Jefferson in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The present bust of Voltaire with naked chest portrays the philosopher and poet in the guise of an ancient Roman Republican. While representing Voltaire as if he were a classical figure, Houdon succeeds in capturing the features of a wise and truly modern thinker naturalistically. Over his lifetime Voltaire was depicted many times by many artists, although none of their portraits was received as well by Voltaire himself, and none of them became as iconic as Houdon’s serene and graceful depiction. related literature H.H. Arneson, The Sculptures of Houdon, London, 1975 L. Réau, Houdon: Sa vie et son œuvre, Paris, 1964, II, p. 44, no. 202



italian , late 18th century Possibly luigi valadier (1726‒1785) Bust of Dionysus Bronze, rich green patina with dark green lacquer Simulated porphyry socle 27 1⁄2 in. (69.8 cm) high provenance: Matthew R. Boulton, Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire (died 1842), thence by descent to the late Major Eustace Robb, Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire In the high antique manner this bust of Dionysus is an extremely fine cast of the original Hellenistic bronze currently held at the Museo Nazionale, Naples. It has a very interesting provenance, dating back to the early nineteenth century, from the collection of Matthew R. Boulton, Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire. It is highly likely that it was supplied to Boulton by the prestigious English furniture maker and decorator George Bullock, who completely refurnished Great Tew Park between the years 1816 and 1818. Although the bust is on a large scale the details represented are of an exceptionally high quality, which gives a very realistic and intimate feel to the object. The downcast gaze of Dionysus is a subtle and refined pose that conveys an air of nobility. The original bronze bust was discovered in 1741 in the Villa dei Pisoni, Herculaneum, but, considering its quality and execution, it seems probable that this bust was cast in Rome. Its author may be Luigi Valadier (1726‒1785) or Francesco Righetti (1749–1819). related literature Le collezioni del Museo Nazionale, De Luca Edizioni, 1989, p. 136, no. 202, illus. p. 137 N. Penny, Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum: 1540 to the Present Day, Volume I: Italian, Oxford, 1993, I, p. 7, no. 6



giacomo zoffoli (c. 1731–1785) and giovanni zoffoli (c. 1745–1805) A Pair of Gaeta Vases Signed G . ZOFFOLI . F Bronze, rich brown patina Bases porphyry 13 1⁄2 in. (33.6 cm) high Giacomo and Giovanni Zoffoli were leading exponents of the Antique taste available to the international traveller in Rome during the height of the Grand Tour at the end of the eighteenth century. These elegant vases ultimately derive from the so-called ‘Gaeta’ Vase by the great Athenian sculptor Salpion, which until 1805 served as the famous baptismal font in Gaeta Cathedral, and is now part of the collection of antiquities at the Museo Nazionale, Naples. Another example of the vase is held in the Torrie Collection in the University of Edinburgh. The fame of the vase and its appeal to the Grand Tourists grew from Zoffoli’s catalogue, which was circulated notably by the young English architect Charles HeathcoteTatham: he sent a copy of it in 1795 to his master Henry Holland. Later that year Tatham designed a chimney garniture in which the Zoffoli Vaso di Gaeta formed the centrepiece. related literature N. Goodison, Matthew Boulton: Ormolu, revised edn, London, 2002, p. 119, figs. 86–89



francesco righetti


A Pair of Busts: The Dioscuri Bronze, dark-brown patina Bases white marble, ormolu; socles Siena marble 19 in. (48.2 cm) high Francesco Righetti listed these two busts in his catalogue of 1794 under Bustes avec leur base dorĂŠe, at the cost of 36 sequins romains. He had studied under Luigi Valadier in Rome and took over from Valadier as the leading exponent of the Grand Tour taste in Rome in the late eighteenth century. The two busts are amongst the bronzes of the highest quality produced by Righetti for his international audience. They represent Castor and Pollux, also known as the Dioscuri, who were the twin sons of Leda and Jupiter and the brothers of Helen of Troy. One was a great boxer, the other a famous horseman. They were immortalized in the Gemini constellation. related literature A. GonzĂĄles-Palacios, Il gusto dei principi, Longanesi, 1993, I, p. 252, fig. 507 (bronzes), 505, 506 (bases)



francesco righetti (1749–1819) and luigi righetti (1780‒?1852) Captive Dacians Signed and dated FR. RIGHETTI. ET. FIL. FECIT. ROM / 1811 Bronze, rich brown-green patina 12 3⁄4 in. (32.4 cm) high Francesco Righetti lists these two bronze Dacians in his 1794 catalogue as “Deux Esclaves de Farnese” at the cost of 36 sequins romains. The present pair are dated 1811, when Righetti was at the height of his career, having just completed the monumental bronze statue of Napoleon as Mars which is currently placed in the courtyard of the Museo del Brera, Milan. The signature ET. FIL. indicates that Francesco’s son Luigi also worked on these figures. Luigi had become Francesco’s chief assistant by 1805, the year that Francesco became head of the Vatican foundry. The two bronzes are reductions after the famous marbles of the Farnese Slaves, which date to imperial Roman times and are reputed to have come from Trajan’s Forum. They are first recorded in 1544 by Guilleme Philandrier as belonging to the Colonna family, who had a palazzo in nearby Piazza Santi Apostoli. According to Aldrovandi, they were removed to the Palazzo Farnese in 1556, and by 1594 they stood at the top of the stairs, flanking the entrance to the great hall on the piano nobile. They were then transferred to Naples, having spent three years in Rome in the studio of Carlo Albacini, thereafter to reside at the Palazzo di Capodimonte. Eventually they were moved permanently moved to the Museo Borbonico (later the Museo Nazionale.) On occasion they are also referred to as The King of Armenia and The King of Parthia. related literature A. Gonzáles-Palacios, Il gusto dei principi, Longanesi, II, p. 257, fig. 519 F. Haskell and N. Penny, Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1550-1900, New Haven and London, 1981, pp. 169–72, no. 17



joseph chinard (1756–1813) Bust of a Young Lady (perhaps Mlle de Civrieux) (once incorrectly called Mme de Verninac) 1802 Signed and dated in cursive script on the proper right flank of the socle: Chinard à Lyon, messidor an X [the tenth month, 20 June–19 July, of the tenth Republican year, 1802] Plaster (“plâtre original”*) 26 in. (67 cm) high provenance: Possibly Monsieur Zarakian, Paris, c. 1910 This alluring young lady, in the provocative décolletage of her Empire-style dress, is one of several such portraits of unknown or uncertain identity. The latest suggestion for the sitter of the present bust, on the basis of a terracotta bust dated 1804 in the Louvre, is Mlle de Civrieux (Gaborit 1994, p. 80). It was produced around the time that Chinard was commissioned by his fellow Lyonnais, the banker M. Récamier, to portray his charming young wife Juliette, of whom I described a terracotta model in 1997: “Chinard had the benefit of modelling her in three dimensions and thus of showing her exquisite body from every angle. The material he used [clay] was sympathetic in rendering the nuances of soft human flesh, and the crisp linear folds of the diaphanous drapery that she wore in deference to ancient Grecian and Roman fashions.” Germain Bapst waxed lyrical about another “plâtre original” of the present presumed sitter in his preface to a sale catalogue: “Cette jeune femme, à la lèvre spirituelle, sourit, et elle sourit d’une telle façon qu’on en est saisi. Son nez mutin a des narines qui se dilatent comme si le buste respirait. Mona Lisa, la Joconde, souriait lors de ses poses devant Léonard, parce que son peintre lui faisait jouer de la musique pour lui maintenir l’expression de satisfaction qu’il voulait donner à ses traits. Je ne sais comment Chinard a fait avec son modèle inconnu ; lui a-t-il conté maintes anecdotes, maintes histoires amusantes ? Peu importe ; il a réussi à la faire souriant d’une façon spirituelle, presque malicieuse, mais avec un tel accent de vérité qu’on croit que le plâtre va s’animer.” (This young woman, with her spiritual lips, is smiling, and she is smiling in such a way that one is captivated. Her nose has its nostrils dilated as though the bust was actually breathing. Mona Lisa, La Gioconda, was smiling while she posed for Leonardo da Vinci, because the painter had some music played to her, so that she could maintain the expression of satisfaction that he wanted to convey in her features. I know not how Chinard dealt with his unknown model: did he continually tell her funny stories? It matters not: he succeeded in portraying her with a spirited, almost mischievous, smile, but with such a degree of truth that one is led to believe that the plaster is alive) (Bapst 1911). Chinard, always proud of his origin in Lyons, trained there as a sculptor in the Italian Baroque tradition and in 1784 managed to get to Rome, where he won a prize two years later. Returning home in 1787 he married and began to espouse the revolution and anti-religious causes, for which initially he suffered, but later he became one of the leading exponents of *The term ‘plâtre original’ was used to distinguish the one or more casts taken off the sculptor’s unique working model of clay or terracotta as part of the working process from the later, derivative, plaster casts replicated from successful finished products in marble. In the case of the latter, care would be taken to remove the lines left standing slightly in relief from the surface that are caused by the plaster seeping into the joints between the multiple components of a piece-mould and then drying. Here, however, they can be seen, especially over the hair.


the Empire style, portraying several members of Napoleon’s family, including the Empress Josephine. “Above all”, wrote the cataloguer of the Neo-Classicism exhibition of 1972 (p. 222), “he remained a sincere and independent portraitist, prolific and adept of capturing the individual character in the first sketch.” The great authority on Chinard, Mme Rocher-Jauneau, wrote in The Dictionary of Art (1996), “It is this gallery of portraits that earns him a place among the masters of French sculpture”. C.A. related literature C. Avery, ‘Sculpted Portraits: Nancy Richardson’s collection of important French 18th century terracottas’, Christie’s International Magazine, Winter 1997, p. 44 G. Bapst (preface), Catalogue des Sculptures par Joseph Chinard de Lyon, formant la collection de M. le Comte de Penha-Longa, sale catalogue, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 2 December 1911, lot 36 Jean-René Gaborit, The Louvre: European Sculpture, Paris, 1994 Madeleine Rocher-Jauneau, L’Œuvre de Joseph Chinard au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, exhibition catalogue, Lyons, 1978, p. 78 Madeleine Rocher-Jauneau, ‘Chinard’, in The Dictionary of Art, ed. J. Turner, London and New York, 1996, VII, pp. 162–63 (with further literature) [Louvre terracotta, colour ill.] Neo-Classicism, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1972 P. Vitry, Exposition d’œuvres du sculpteur Chinard de Lyon (1756‒1813) – Catalogue, exhibition catalogue, Pavillon de Marsan, Musée des arts décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, Paris, 1909, p. 40, no. 49 (plaster from the collection of Monsieur le Comte de Penha-Longa; 2,200 francs)



lorenzo bartolini (1777–1850) Napoleon Bonaparte Signed B F; inscribed on the reverse 55 c. 1810 White marble 24 1⁄2 (62.3 cm) high x 14 in. (35.6 cm) wide Lorenzo Bartolini was born near Prato, Tuscany and early in his career went to study in Paris in the studio of the greatest French artist of his day, Jacques-Louis David. After the death of Canova he became the best-known Italian sculptor in Europe, but strongly associated with the Emperor Napoleon and his government. He became a friend of Ingres and their friendship was cemented by Ingres’s portrait drawing of Bartolini of 1805 and oil painting of 1806, reciprocated on Bartolini’s part by a sculpted portrait of the great painter. Bartolini was sent by the Emperor in 1808 to Carrara, Bartolini’s own home ground, to set up a workshop for the production and dissemination of sculptural images of the Bonaparte family. Many of these busts were produced for political purposes but also for private use. The exhibition marble differs from most other recorded examples in bearing the hallmarks of its original sculptor, above all the high quality of its finish – the resonance of the master’s chisel cannot be mistaken in the vigorously sculpted hair, and the deeply carved eyes and eyelids further confirm the hand of this master carver. Napoleon’s role as head of the new empire is conveyed in the pensive tension of his furrowed brow and the slightly pursed lips, set within the highly polished and smooth surface of the flesh, creating the illusion of a powerful and almost divine figure. The power presented in this heroic portrayal of the Emperor in full maturity pays homage to the heroic portraits of the ancients with whom Napoleon constantly associated himself for the purposes of political gain. The over life size marble bust here presented is taken from a prototype by Antonio Canova, c. 1805, versions of which exist in the Hermitage in St Petersburg, in the Louvre in Paris and in Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. We are indebted to Hugh Honour for clarifying the issue of the monogram B F (Bartolini Fecit) on the marble and its socle. The bust was discussed with Hugh Honour ( June 2008) in a conversation in which he fully endorsed the attribution to Bartolini. related literature F. Licht, Canova, Abbeville Press, 1983, pp. 36, 97, 101, ill. p. 99 G. Pavanello, L’opera completa del Canova, Milan, 1976, p. 109, no. 142, illus. p. 109 Antonio Canova, exhibition catalogue, Museo Correr, Venice, and Gipsoteca, Possagno, 1992, p. 306, no. 138, illus. p. 307



joseph gott (1786–1860) Resting Cupid Signed J. GOTT. Ft White marble 13 1⁄2 in. (34.3 cm) high, 23 3⁄4 in. (60.3 cm) wide, 10 in. (25.4 cm) deep Born in Leeds, Gott left his home town in 1798, at the exceptionally early age of twelve, for London, where he remained, training under John Flaxman, until 1802. He settled permanently in Rome in 1822, where he quickly gained a high reputation for himself amongst the artistic community and was able to secure prestigious commissions from his fellow countrymen making the Grand Tour. Joseph Gott was at the forefront of the British Neoclassical movement in Rome in the first half of the nineteenth century, and has always been revered for his sensitive carving of animals and children. His ability to portray the infant and to capture a sense of innocence has rarely been matched in marble carving, and the present Resting Cupid is a fine example of Gott at the height of his artistic powers, c. 1820–30. In both form and idea the present marble is related to a terracotta model of Bacchus with Grapes, which is signed and dated J. GOTT, 1824. related literature Joseph Gott Sculptor, exhibition catalogue, Leeds and Liverpool, 1972, no. 50, pl. 46