Tomasso Brothers: Important European Terracottas

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Important European Terracottas TOMASSO BROTHERS FINE ART

Important European Terracottas


Important European Terracottas TOMASSO BROTHERS FINE ART

at CARLTON HOBBS LLC 60 East 93rd Street, New York, ny 10128 25 January – 2 February 2018


TOMASSO BROTHERS FINE ART Bardon Hall, Weetwood Lane, Leeds, ls16 8hj tel. + 44 (0) 113 275 5545 and Marquis House, 67 Jermyn Street, St James’s, London, sw1y 6ny tel. + 44 (0) 20 7839 9394

Texts by Emanuela Tarizzo and Elliot Davies unless otherwise signed Our thanks for their contributions to Dr Charles Avery, Prof. Andrea Bacchi, Dr Maichol Clemente, Prof. Aldo Galli, Prof. Giancarlo Gentilini, Dr Alain Jacobs, Dr Léon Lock, Alexandra Popa

Photography by Doug Currie Design by Laura Parker Produced by Paul Holberton publishing 89 Borough High Street London se1 1nl isbn 978 1 911300 42 7 www.tomassobrot h in fo@tomassobrot h © 2018 Tomasso Brothers Fine Art





vinc a, serbia, c. 5th millennium bc


alexandrian, hellenistic period, 2nd–1st century bc


francesco solari (c. 1420–1469)


agnolo di polo (1470–1528)


pietro simoni da barga (active c. 1571–89)

A Pair of Reclining Figures Head of an African Youth

Relief Bust of a Lady, c. 1465–70 Seated Madonna and Child with a Goldfinch, c. 1490–1500 Dusk (Il Crepuscolo), c. 1574–88

After Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564)


servatius (servaes) cardon (1608–1649)


pierre puget (1620–1694)


giulio cartari (c. 1641–1699), possibly by


peter scheemaeckers the elder (1652–1714)

Portrait of a Gentleman Salvator Mundi

Saint Mary Magdalen

The Virgin and Child, with Two Angels, c. 1700–02


giovanni bonazza (1654–1736)


giuseppe piamontini (1664–1742)


michiel van der voort the elder (1667–1737)


francesco moratti (or maratti), called il padovano (c. 1669–1719), attributed to

Allegory of Winter, c. 1710

Saint Mark, datable to 1693 Charity

Two Angels kneeling in Adoration


laurent delvaux (1696–1778), circle of


north italian, late 17th / early 18th century


jacques de koninck (1703–after 1777)


pierre surugue (1728–1786)


johan tobias sergel (1740–1814)


franco-flemish, 18th century


joseph nollekens, r.a. (1737–1823)


french, 1742


philippe-laurent roland (1746–1816), attributed to


antonio canova (1757–1822)


christopher hewetson (c. 1737–1798)


heinrich maximilian imhof (1798–1869)

Standing Hercules at Rest

Model for a Monument to a Victorious Commander Modello for the Vision of Saint Hubert in the Church of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Lombeek, Belgium, 1738–39 Satyr teaching his Son to play the Pipes Priapus Herm, c. 1775–80

A Pair of Recumbent Lions with Armorial Shields Apollo

Hermes fastening his Sandal, also known as Cincinnatus Portrait of a Gentleman, c. 1789–99 Character Head, c. 1780 Portrait of a Lady

Ruth & Study for a Female Figure carrying a Basket

vinc a, serbia, c. 5th millennium bc


A Pair of Reclining Figures Terracotta 2 ¾ in. (7 cm) high 3 ⅜ in. (8.5 cm) wide 4 in. (10 cm) long provenance Acquired by Mr S.S., Serbia 1970s (brought to London whilst working for the UN 1980–83) Inherited by his son, Mr Z.S., United Kingdom

fig. 1 Collection of Mr S.S., Serbia, inherited by his son, Mr Z.S.

This fascinating, delicately modelled composition of a pair of figures (possibly a Mother and Child), lying upon a horizontal bed-structure that is raised by four feet beneath, recalls modern ‘primitivist’ and Cubist sculpture of the twentieth century by artists such as Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) and Henry Moore (1898–1986). However, this small-scale group of abstract figures, marked with decorative cross-hatching, has proven to be between 4800 and 7400 years old after thermoluminescence analysis. The culture from which the work originates is the ancient Vincˇa civilization, whose centre was located 15 km from what is now Belgrade, in Serbia, on the right bank of the Danube. The civilization was discovered in 1908, by Professor Miloje Vasic´, who initiated excavations at the site of Belo Brdo and worked there until 1934. Vasic´ made a great number of important discoveries here, largely from the period around 4500–3200 bc, which counted among them artefacts such as jewellery and objects made of precious and rare metals. Terracotta, or fired clay figurines and other objects, like the present work, were also found in abundance and so sculptural work in this medium seems to have held a great deal of importance in the culture. There was also a considerable amount of treasure discovered, along with luxury goods, some of which are believed to originate from cultures located thousands of miles away on the Mediterranean, notably the Aegean coast, and other areas of Central Europe. This indicates that the Vincˇa were highly successful merchants and adventurers, who traded heavily with their immediate neighbours and with others much further afield. Indeed, it is estimated that by around 4000 bc the territory of the Vincˇa was the largest neolithic, prehistoric settlement in Europe. The present sculpture was acquired by a gentleman in Serbia, during the 1970s, before it was brought to London whilst he was working for the UN in 1980–83. The work was then inherited by his son and kept in his private collection in the United Kingdom (fig. 1). related literature O. Höckmann, Die menschengestaltige Figuralplastik der südosteuropäischen Jungsteinzeit und Steinkupferzeit, in der Reihe Tackenberg–Narr (Münstersche Beiträge zur Vorgeschichtsforschung, vols. 3–4), 1968 M. Gimbutas, The Gods and Goddesses of Old Europe 7000 to 3500 BC: Myths, Legends and Cult Images, 1974, ad loc.



alexandrian, hellenistic period, 2nd–1st century bc


Head of an African Youth Terracotta 3 ½ in. (9 cm) high 2 ¼ in. (5.5 cm) wide provenance Private collection, Lyon, France, since the 1960s

During his thirteen-year reign, from 336 bc to his death in 323 bc, Alexander the Great conquered most of the world known to the ancient Greeks, creating an empire that stretched from the Aegean to the Indus valley. The death of Alexander the Great marks the beginning of what is conventionally called the Hellenistic Age (323 bc–31 bc), a period which saw the dissolution of the empire into independent kingdoms, founded by three of Alexander’s generals – Ptolemaic in Egypt, Antigonid in Macedonia and the Aegean World, and Seleucid in the Near East. Thanks to its Museum – in its most literal sense, the Muses’ sanctuary – and the great Library established by the Ptolemies, Alexandria was one of the most representative cities of the Hellenistic Age, dominating the intellectual and cultural life of the Greek world. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 bc, Alexandria was strategically located at one of the mouths of the Nile and characterized by an ever-increasing cosmopolitan community in which Hellenistic artistic developments flourished. Influenced by this new international milieu, the repertoire of Greek artists embraced a broader subject-matter, which the more restrained art of the Classical age had refrained from. In painting as in sculpture, subject-matter now encompassed a large variety of people of all ages and social standing, represented in the whole gamut of physical and emotional states. With the dissolution of the Empire during the Hellenistic Age, a heightened universalism along with a growing sense of individualism had emerged, one that is clearly visible in the substantial number and distinctiveness of individual portraits commissioned in that period. Shifting from idealism to realism, Hellenistic sculpture portrayed everyday situations and emotions, capturing characters as individuals rather than types. In addition, we discover a new interest in portraying different ethnic types, one that stems without doubt from the extended geographical boundaries of the Hellenistic world. While small-scale terracottas and bronzes portraying black Africans or native Egyptians sometimes display a tendency to produce exaggerated, often deformed reflections of reality, large-scale sculpture presents considerate, observed portrayals of non-Greek individuals. These portraits, which emerge for the first time in the Hellenistic Age, are important evidence of the integration of Africans in many strata of Greek society.




The present terracotta portrait head beautifully epitomizes the interest of Greek artists in portraying different ethnic types. The mouth, with slightly parted, fleshy lips, along with the triangular, flat nose, emphasizes the seemingly African character of the face. The sharply defined eyes, framed by marked eyebrows and an ample forehead, gaze proudly and intensely, commanding the attention of the viewer. This expressive portrait is distinguished from other representations of African heads by its serious and elegant treatment, distant from the elements of caricature. Heads of this type were often modelled individually and subsequently associated with a torso. An interesting example is a full-length figure in the British Museum (16.5 cm high; fig. 1) which combines the shaved head of a black African male with what appears to be a female body, as suggested by the garment through which breasts are visible. Even though the technique of modelling terracotta figures by hand was still present during the Hellenistic age, they were more commonly realized using two-piece moulds. This, however, did not result in identical figures, as artists would make small changes after taking the half-finished statue out of the mould. Finely brought to a resilient consistency using local clays, the millennia-long history of this expressive portrait head epitomizes the technical virtuosity of its maker. alexandra popa

fig. 1 Hellenistic, 2nd–1st century bc Figure of an actor or priest (?) Terracotta British Museum, London

related literature L. Burn, Hellenistic Art: From Alexander the Great to Augustus, London, 2004, pp. 50–79 C. Hemingway and A. Hemingway, ‘Art of the Hellenistic Age and the Hellenistic Tradition’, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007


francesco solari (c. 1420–1469)


Relief Bust of a Lady, c. 1465–70 Terracotta 12 ½ in. (32 cm) high 9 in. (23 cm) wide provenance Private collection, Milan, Italy

fig. 1 Lombard School Portal for the Banco Mediceo (detail), c. 1455–65 Marble Castello Sforzesco, Milan


Wearing an elegantly embroidered dress, with softly puffed sleeves, and a finely arranged headdress, a young woman looks serenely to the viewer, her gaze daintily downcast and her lips delicately parted. Her likeness is framed by a richly patterned, shell-headed niche. At once a sensitive portrait and a representation of ideal beauty, the present relief is characteristic of the type of architectural decoration that adorned the palazzi of late fifteenth-century Milan, where terracotta was a medium with a noble and established tradition. The considerable depth of our relief confirms it would have originally formed part of an architectural decoration, and the lady’s gaze, cast down, suggests an elevated setting, from which she would have met the eyes of the beholder looking up at her. Her oval face, round eyes, manner of dress and type of horned headdress all find correspondences in known female portraits with ties to the Sforza court in Milan (1450–1535). Within the field of sculpture, these include the female figures on the portal of the Banco Mediceo (figs. 1–2) and the funerary monument of Medea Colleoni in the Colleoni Chapel in Bergamo (fig. 3), commissioned from Giovanni Antonio Amadeo by the deceased’s famous father, the condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni. The strong parallels between the present relief and the abovementioned works point in the direction of a date c. 1460–70, arguably the birth of the Lombard Renaissance. Characterized by a highly decorative treatment of surfaces, as in the present work, and by a shift towards classical antiquity tempered by an idiosyncratic realism that had its roots in the local Gothic tradition, Lombard sculpture of the second half of the fifteenth century constitutes a unique and fundamental chapter of the Italian Renaissance. Its protagonists included Martino Benzoni (1451–1492), Cristoforo Mantegazza (c. 1429–1479), Giovanni Antonio Amedeo (c. 1447–1522), the Master of San Paolo Eremita, the Master of the Madonna del Topo, and Francesco Solari. In the 1460s, Francesco Solari held an important role in the realization of the cloisters of the Charterhouse of Pavia, one of the foremost monuments of the Lombard Renaissance. The master and his assistants were responsible for several of the stone corbels that support the vaulted loggias, and for modelling the terracotta decorations of the spandrels in both the small and the principal cloisters. It is amongst these elaborate compositions, which feature several busts


fig. 2 Lombard School Portal for the Banco Mediceo (detail), c. 1455–65 Marble Castello Sforzesco, Milan fig. 3 Giovanni Antonio Amadeo Funerary Monument of Medea Colleoni (detail), c. 1475 Cappella Colleoni, Bergamo

and heads, that we find the closest comparatives to our relief, and confirmation of its attribution to Solari and his workshop. Corresponding features include the oval face with a rounded, slightly protuberant forehead, the large eyes with heavy lids and arched brows, the small, round chin, and the locks of hair outlined with parallel incisions. These also appear on the terracotta basin in the small cloister executed around 1465 by Solari and the young Amadeo, who was his pupil between 1460 and 1466. While employed at Pavia, Solari’s workshop was also responsible for the terracotta angels in the Portinari Chapel in the church of Sant’Eustorgio in Milan,


and for those destined to the Ospedale Maggiore, which was located where the Castello Sforzesco now stands, also in Milan, for which the artist received payment in 1466. Another work by Solari that belongs to the same tradition and context of the present relief, in terms both of expression and of decorative motif, is the Head of a Pontiff at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was acquired in 1863 with a provenance from the Charterhouse of Pavia. prof. aldo galli

related literature E. Welch, Patrons, ‘Artists and Audiences in Renaissance Milan, 1300–1600’, in C.M. Rosenberg, ed., The Court Cities of Northern Italy, Cambridge, 2010, pp. 21–70 M.G. Albertini Ottolenghi and L. Basso, eds., Terrecotte nel Ducato di Milano, artisti e cantieri nel primo Rinascimento, conference papers, 17–18 October 2011, Milan, 2011 S. Romano, ‘Milan (and Lombardy): Art and Architecture, 1277–1535’, in A. Gamberini, ed., A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Milan, Leiden and Boston, 2014, pp. 214–47


agnolo di polo (1470–1528)


Seated Madonna and Child with a Goldfinch, c. 1490–1500 Terracotta 36 ½ in. (93 cm) high 19 ¾ in. (50 cm) wide provenance Raoul Beccarini Crescenzi, Milan Guido Rossi, Milan, 1960 and by descent

fig. 1 Agnolo di Polo The Madonna and Child Terracotta Spadari Chapel, Santissima Annunziata, Arezzo


Along with Pietro Perugino, Leonardo da Vinci, Francesco di Simone Ferrucci and Lorenzo di Credi, Agnolo di Polo trained in the famous Florentine workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio (1435–1488). In the second edition his Vite (1568), Vasari portrays our artist with words that are at once flattering and elusive: “Agnolo di Polo was also trained by Andrea. He was a skilful worker in clay who filled the city with his productions and would have done some very beautiful work if he had attended to sculpture seriously.” Evoked in the Vasarian narrative, the real abilities of this protagonist of Florentine Renaissance terracotta sculpture fully stand out in the present Madonna and Child, a beautifully serene sculpture that constitutes a highpoint in Agnolo di Polo’s activity. The present work attests to Agnolo’s modelling ability and distinctive style, which tends towards an expressive synthesis achieved through polished and rounded forms, and to his technical skill, as demonstrated by the daring spatial projection of our sculptural group, which, in the lower section, follows the illusionistic example of Donatello. In addition, it reveals Agnolo’s talent for bold compositional arrangement, embodied here by the Christ Child, who, almost escaping the embrace of his mother, leans towards the viewer and blesses him with one hand whilst with the other he holds a goldfinch, symbol of his future Passion. We owe the first academic study on Agnolo di Polo to Peleo Bacci, at the beginning of the twentieth century (1905), who was followed more recently by Lorenzo Lorenzi (1998) and Louis Waldman (2007), who brought to the fore important new documentary evidence of the artist. This increased attention to Agnolo di Polo appears to be in tune with the widespread re-evaluation of terracotta sculpture of recent decades, which has seen the publication of several articles on specific episodes of the sculptor’s career (Mancini 1993; Bellandi 1995, 2002; Padoa Rizzo 1995; Falletti 1996; Francioni 1997; Lorenzi 2004; Pisani 2004 etc.) and of studies that seek to contextualize his work within the context of Renaissance Florentine art (Gentilini 1980, 2009; Bellandi 2000; Boucher 2001; Giannotti 2004), along with the constant interest from collectors and in exhibitions of international significance, such as La civiltà del cotto (Impruneta 1980), Earth and Fire (Houston and London 2001–02) and Filippino Lippi (Prato 2004).




Agnolo’s profession followed in his family’s footsteps: his father was a mask maker and his brother a gem engraver and medallist, whilst his grandfather had worked on the stained-glass windows of Florence’s Cathedral, whence he had gained the nickname ‘de’ Vetri’. After the apprenticeship with Verrocchio mentioned by Vasari, Agnolo is documented in Pistoia, where, in 1495, he executed for the Ospedale della Morte a Magdalen, later painted by Bernardino del Signoraccio, which has been identified with a statue formerly in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (Sotheby’s, 31 January–1 February 2013, lot 351). Still in Pistoia in 1498, he was commissioned to make for the Pia Casa della Sapienza a halffigure of Christ the Redeemer, polychromed by Tommaso Laini, preserved today in the local Museo Civico. As a number of similar busts that are attributed to Agnolo attest, this was a genre in which he was particularly well versed. Agnolo also realized sculptural groups, including The Burial of Christ in San Salvatore al Monte, Florence, and two Pietàs, one for Santa Maria in Terranuova Bracciolini and one for the Chiesa dell’Addolorata in Montesenario. Between 1500 and 1516 our artist created various composite representations of the Passion of Christ for the Sacro Monte di San Vivaldo in Montaione, and a 1514 commission for a Pietà in painted terracotta in Prato. Albeit referring to works now untraced, further contemporary documentary sources confirm Agnolo’s consistent commitment to terracotta sculpture, including small works, such as a series of Apostles and other figures for San Lorenzo in Mugello (1512 and 1514) and seven statuettes for the cook of the Florentine Signoria in 1525. Working predominantly for patrons engaged in the kind of devotion prevailing in the years marked by Savonarola’s rigorous spirituality, Agnolo effectively helped promote a particular genre of religious art that found expression in painted terracotta sculptures of significant emotional impact. This was achieved through their simple, concise naturalism and their use of a language that conformed to the values of local ritual, values that were close to the austere and traditional painting of Fra Bartolomeo and of the School of San Marco, as well as to the glazed terracottas of Benedetto Buglioni and Giovanni della Robbia, with whom Agnolo is documented to have worked in 1517. In Agnolo’s stylistically rather homogenous path, the present work encounters countless parallels. One of the most noble and refined amongst them is certainly the Madonna and Child in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a work of similar size but featuring the Virgin in standing pose (fig. 2). The Madonna’s face displays the same gentle features as the present one, such as the thin nasal septum and the spacious forehead, framed by smooth and flowing locks that softly wrap around the sides of her neck. The movement of the drapery, articulated in dense folds cut through by deep eyelets, is another element common to both groups. These aspects are doubtless characteristic of Agnolo’s hand and regularly recur within his oeuvre, as testified by the Saint Catherine of Alexandria now in the Victoria and Albert Museum (and by other examples in private collections, such as fig. 3), by the Magdalen figure in the Pietà and by the Madonna in the Nativity at Pieve di Terranuova Bracciolini, dateable to the second decade of the sixteenth century; and by various female figures in the groups of the Sacro Monte at San Vivaldo, modelled between 1500 and 1516. The Madonna and Child of the Spadari Chapel in the Santissima Annunziata in Arezzo, the last documented work by the

fig. 2 Agnolo di Polo The Madonna and Child, c. 1520 Painted terracotta on wood base Los Angeles County Museum of Art

fig. 3 Agnolo di Polo Saint Catherine of Alexandria Terracotta Private collection


fig. 4 Leonardo da Vinci The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and the Infant Saint John the Baptist, c. 1499–1500 Charcoal (and wash?) heightened with white chalk on paper, mounted on canvas National Gallery, London

master, realised between 1526 and 1528, again shows these recurring characteristics (see above, fig. 1). The close similarities between the Arezzo Madonna and the our terracotta – particularly in the facial features of the Virgin and in the broken folds of the drapery – certainly reinforce the present work’s attribution to Agnolo di Polo, yet the unadventurous and far more static nature of the Arezzo composition indicates a significant chronological distance between the two groups. This suggests that our terracotta should be dated to the early phase of the sculptor’s career, one animated by greater creative force – and perhaps to no later than the end of the fifteenth century, as the fluent and circular movement in the Virgin’s cloak would indicate, inviting comparison with Agnolo’s Magdalen and Saint John the Evangelist in Sorrow in the church of Spirito Santo in Pistoia, believed to have been realized before 1498, and with the Magdalen in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, which was perhaps commissioned from Agnolo in 1495 by the officials of the Sapienza of Pistoia. In the aforementioned Los Angeles Madonna we also encounter an agile posture of the Christ Child similar to the present one, which in its torsion and gesturing echoes a model by Verrocchio, frequently replicated both in painting and in sculpture and documented in one of its first instances by the marble Putto, in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, which is considered an autograph work. From this our Christ Child seems to have derived also the interlocking of his legs, a novel and original reflection of Agnolo on his formative experiences. Specifically, the unbalanced lateral projection of the Christ Child in the present sculpture, far more daring than anything we find in the work of Verrocchio – with the exception of his animated studies of Putti in various reclining positions (Musée du Louvre, Paris) – reveals Agnolo’s refined correlation with the paintings of Leonardo, from the unfinished Adoration of the Magi of 1481 for San Donato at Scopeto (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence) to the cartoon for The Madonna and Child with Saint Anne and the Infant Saint John realized in Milan in the last years of the fifteenth century (fig. 4); but also a return to Luca della Robbia’s glazed terracotta Madonnas (Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris; San Michele, Lucca, etc.), recognizable by the manner in which the Virgin embraces the Christ Child in fragile equilibrium, holding one his legs. Agnolo’s devotional sculptures thus reveal a remarkable talent, combined with a rich and constantly updated visual culture. prof. giancarlo gentilini


related literature G. Vasari, Le vite de’ più eccellenti pittori scultori e architettori, Florence, 1568, ed. G. Milanesi, Florence, 1878–85, III, p. 371 P. Bacci, ‘Agnolo di Polo allievo del Verrocchio’, Rivista d’Arte, III, no. 9, 1905, pp. 159–71 M. Bacci, ‘Agnolo di Polo’, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Rome, 1960, p. 450 J.G. Phillips, ‘A sculpture by Agnolo di Polo’, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, XXX, no. 2, 1971, pp. 80–89 G. Gentilini, I Della Robbia. La scultura invetriata nel Rinascimento, Florence, 1992, pp. 282–83, 286–87 G. Mancini, La Pietà di terracotta policroma della chiesa di S. Maria a Terranova Bracciolini, San Giovanni Valdarno, 1993 F. Falletti, ‘Agnolo di Polo e il Monumento Forteguerri’, in I Medici, il Verrocchio e Pistoia. Storia e restauro di due capolavori nella cattedrale di S. Zeno. Il monumento al Cardinale Niccolò Forteguerri. La Madonna di Piazza, ed. F. Falletti, Livorno, 1996, pp. 34–36 P. Francioni, La Madonna del Presepe nella Pieve di Terranova … e Agnolo di Polo, San Giovanni Valdarno, 1997 L. Lorenzi, Agnolo di Polo. Scultura in terracotta dipinta nella Firenze di fine Quattrocento, Ferrara, 1998 A. Bellandi, ‘Plasticatori e ceraioli a Firenze tra Quattro e Cinquecento’, in La grande storia dell’artigianato, ed. F. Franceschi and G. Fossi, Florence, 2000, pp. 187–222 B. Boucher, ‘Italian Renaissance Terracotta: Artistic Revival or Technological Innovation?’, in Earth & Fire. Italian Terracotta Sculpture from Donatello to Canova, exh. cat., ed. B. Boucher, New Haven and London, 2001, pp. 20–21 L. Pisani, ‘Appunti su Agnolo di Polo’, Zbornik za umetnostno Zgodovino, XL, 2004, pp. 114–26 L.A. Waldman, ‘The terracotta sculptor Agnolo di Polo de’ Vetri: the prison, the pievano, the Pratese, and the cook’, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, 51, 2007 (2009), pp. 337–50 G. Gentilini, ‘La “Rinascita della terracotta” trent’anni dopo’, in Il cotto dell’Impruneta. Maestri del Rinascimento e le fornaci di oggi, exh. cat., ed. R. Caterina Proto Pisani and G. Gentilini, Florence, 2009, pp. 45–56


pietro simoni da barga (active c. 1571–89)


Dusk (Il Crepuscolo), c. 1574–88 After Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) Terracotta 9 ¾ in. (25 cm) high 11 in. (28 cm) wide 4 ¾ in. (12 cm) deep

Pietro da Barga is well known to connoisseurs of sixteenth-century Florentine sculpture as the artist who, between years 1574 and 1588, made a number of beautiful, small-scale bronze versions of revered marble works for the Medici court of Ferdinando I, Grand Duke of Tuscany. The Medici ‘Inventario di guardaroba’ lists a number of bronzes after antique models executed by da Barga. The present model is a version of Michelangelo’s famed allegorical statue representing ‘Dusk’ (Il Crepuscolo) from the tomb of Lorenzo de’ Medici, Duke of Urbino, in the New Sacristy at the church of San Lorenzo, Florence (fig. 1). The work was completed between 1524 and 1531 and is paired with an allegory of ‘Dawn’ (Aurora). The pair comprise a group of four sepulchral statues in the chapel executed by Michelangelo, which take the form of reclining figures representing the four phases of the day, the other two being ‘Night’ (La Notte) and ‘Day’ (Il Giorno), which adorn the opposing tomb of Giuliano de' Medici, completed by Michelangelo between 1526 and 1534.

fig. 1 Michelangelo Buonarroti Dusk (Il Crepuscolo), detail of the tomb of Lorenzo de’ Medici, Duke of Urbino, 1524–31 White marble New Sacristy, San Lorenzo, Florence





Around fifty years after this date, da Barga was working in Florence making small-scale versions of the most famous marble statues for the Medici court, which included a model of Michelangelo’s Bacchus, after it arrived in Florence from Rome in 1583. The very specific handling of the present terracotta statuette appears to be identical to that of the bronze figures in the Bargello that are fully ascribed to Pietro da Barga – in particular, the Antinoüs Belvedere, with its flat eyes, refined and slightly aquiline nose, loosely modelled facial features and tousled hair (fig. 2). Da Barga’s Hercules Farnese at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (fig. 3) also has clear similarities with our figure of Dusk in the modelling of these very details. In the statues of the ‘Four Phases of the Day’, Michelangelo’s principal aim was to express the beauty of the recumbent human form, as the ancients had managed to achieve in their representation of river-gods – such as the colossal Tigris in the Vatican – which were originally designed to fill conveniently the low acute angles of Graeco-Roman pediments. It seems Michelangelo also formerly intended four river-gods to lie on the flat plinths below the sarcophagi. These are known from various drawings, from the big model now in Casa Buonarroti, Florence, and from a pair of bronze statuettes probably cast from his working models in wax. In spite of the fact that the New Sacristy was hallowed ground, it became a centre for artists wishing to imbibe what they could of Michelangelo’s genius in his native city. Apart from his David, there was in fact little else by him on view once he had left Florence in 1534. Drawings by Zuccaro give an impression of a busy art school at work and sculptors in particular were used to learning by copying statues on a small scale in wax or clay. Typical is a terracotta statuette of Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino, now in the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. Knowledge of Michelangelo’s work from the mid century onwards was disseminated by means of accurate engravings by such as Cornelis Cort; or more fanciful ones showing two of the recumbent statues in open-air settings as independent works of art.

fig. 2 Pietro da Barga The Antinoüs Belvedere (detail) Bronze Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence

fig. 3 Pietro da Barga The Hercules Farnese (detail) Gilt bronze, 9 in. (22.9 cm) high Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 64.101.1462

We are grateful to Dr Charles Avery for his contribution to this essay

related literature G. de Nicola, ‘Notes on the Museo Nazionale of Florence – II’, The Burlington Magazine, XXIX, December 1916, pp. 363–73 L.Planiscig, Piccoli bronzi italiani del Rinascimento, Milan, 1930, fig. 346 C. de Tolnay, Michelangelo, III: The Medici Chapel, Princeton, 1971, pp. 57–60, plates 31–37 P. Joannides, ‘Two bronze statuettes and their relationship to Michelangelo’, The Burlington Magazine, CXXIV, no. 946, January 1982, pp. 3–8


servatius (servaes) cardon (1608–1649)


Portrait of a Gentleman Terracotta 24 in. (61 cm) high

The author of this wonderful early seventeenth-century portrait bust of a gentleman is Servatius Cardon, also known as ‘Servaes’. The style of his works suggest Cardon was close to the family of Artus and Erasmus Quellinus, influential early Baroque sculptors from Antwerp whose greatest works include their famed virtuoso carvings at Amsterdam Town Hall. Servatius’s father was a sculptor named Fursy d’Arras, the brother of Jean d’Arras, who signed a terracotta of The Virgin and Child dated 1643. In 1628, Cardon became a Freeman and Member of the Brotherhood of Bachelors, and in 1639 was commissioned by its Prefect to make a marble altar for the Brotherhood. Cardon was also recorded in the Liggeren (Antwerp Guild archives) as taking on apprentices between 1640 and 1643, around the time that he carved an elaborate pulpit (now lost) for the Benedictine abbey of Afflighem, in 1641. There also exists a life-size oak statue of The Virgin and Child that has been attributed to Cardon since 1845, in the Musée Communal–Maison de Roi, Brussels, and there are two signed works in terracotta – a standing figure of Saint Paul (signed Ser Cardon) in the Musée du Louvre (RF2325) and an unidentified portrait bust of a gentleman in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, which is signed on the side of its integral pedestal Ao 1646 Serúatiús de Cardon (figs. 1, 2, 3). dr charles avery We would like to thank Dr. Frits Scholten, Senior Curator of Sculpture at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, for studying this bust, which he fully attributes to Servatius Cardon.





figs. 1–3 Servatius (Servaes) Cardon Portrait of an Unknown Man Terracotta, 51 × 47.5 cm Signed on the side of the support: Ao 1646 Serúatiús de Cardon Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, BK-2010–17

related literature J. Leeuwenberg and W. Halsema-Kubes, Beeldhouwkunst in het Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1973, pp. 237–39, nos. 313a, 314, 316 La sculpture au siècle de Rubens: dans les Pays-Bas meridionaux et la principauté de Liège, exh. cat., Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels, 15 July–2 October 1977, ed. P. Colman, no. 254 Hans Vlieghe, ‘Artus Quellinus (ii)’, in The Dictionary of Art, London, 1996, vol. 25, pp. 811–12 P. Philippot et al., eds., L’Architecture religieuse et la sculpture Baroques dans les Pays-Bas meridionaux et la Principauté de Liège 1600–1770, Liège, 2003, p. 834, fig. 1


pierre puget (1620–1694)


Salvator Mundi Terracotta 18 ½ in. (47 cm) high 16 ½ in. (42 cm) wide 11 ¼ in. (28.6 cm) deep

A distinctive voice within the French Baroque, Pierre Puget gained recognition for his work as a sculptor – as well as draughtsman, painter and architect – characterized by a heightened sense of movement and emotion, which sometimes contrasted with the more traditional Classicism of the French Académie. Born in Marseille in 1620, Puget first trained locally under the wood carver Jean Roman. From about 1638 to 1643 he was in Italy, first in Florence and then in Rome, where he is recorded to have worked for the great painter Pietro da Cortona (c. 1596–1669), most likely producing stucco and wood decorations. During his Italian sojourn, Puget observed first-hand the works of the great Renaissance and Baroque masters, such as Michelangelo (1475–1564), Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680) and Alessandro Algardi (1598–1654), who would all leave an indelible mark in the mind of the young French artist. In 1643 Puget returned to Marseille, but three years later he was again headed to Rome, having been commissioned to execute drawings of its renowned ancient statues. This time his stay was cut short by the death of his travelling companion, a painter who had trained under Simon Vouet, which appears to have ended the project. In 1647 Puget was married to Paule Boulet in Toulon, the Provençal town he had settled in to work alongside his brother Gaspard, a sculptor in the workshop of Nicolas Levray at the local Arsenal. In 1648, when the shipyard was closed during the Fronde, the civil uprisings that took place during the minority of King Louis XIV, Puget redirected his activity towards civic and religious commissions, such as a fountain for Toulon’s Porte Saint-Lazare and painted altarpieces for the local Capuchin and Dominican orders. The end of the Fronde in 1653 saw an increment in private patronage, with which Puget’s beautifully observed marine paintings encountered particular favour. In 1656 the Toulon government chose Puget’s proposal in a competition for the renovation of the City Hall, a project that considerably furthered his fame. The pair of Atlas figures he carved for the building’s main portal stand to this day as testimony of the physical vigour and emotional intensity that were to be hallmarks of his style. Two years later, Puget was summoned by an associate of the influential minister Nicolas Fouquet to work on the sculpture for the gardens of his château at Vaudreuil, in Normandy. These included the Hercules and the Hydra now in Rouen’s Musée des Beaux-Arts, an imposing, spiralling stone statue that attests to Puget’s remarkable sense for both composition and surface texture. Puget’s talent caught the attention of Fouquet himself, who wanted garden statuary for his grand residence at Vaux-le-Vicomte, which is said to have provided the inspiration



fig. 1 Pierre Puget’s house in the rue de Rome, Marseille, from F. Michel de Léon, ‘Voyage pittoresque de Marseille’, 1779 Bibliothèque Municipale, Marseille, Ms. pl. 115

fig. 2 Twentieth-century photograph of Pierre Puget’s house in the rue de Rome, Marseille


for the Sun King’s project at Versailles. Puget was sent to Italy to select the Carrara marble for this most important commission, but by the time he had made his choice, in September 1661, his patron had fallen victim to a plot set in motion by his political rival Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619–1683) and was arrested by d’Artagnan, captain of the King’s musketeers, never to be freed again. Given his association with the disgraced Fouquet, Puget decided to remain in Italy, and settled for seven years in the city of Genoa, then at the height of its mercantile powers. The local aristocracy, which counted some of the wealthiest families in Europe, soon noticed the French master’s talent, so that in 1663 Puget was able to open an independent workshop in the city and have his family move there from Toulon. A small city, Genoa nonetheless boasted magnificent palazzi and a thriving community of artists, who developed, in response to the bold, grandiose spirit of their patrons, architectural, sculptural and painterly compositions of extraordinary richness and splendour. Testimonies of Puget’s work within this setting can be found to this day in situ, primarily in Genoese churches. These include the Saint Sebastian and Alessandro Sauli for the church of Santa Maria Assunta at Carignano, which had been dedicated by the Sauli family, and the Immaculate Conception in the Oratory of San Filippo Neri, originally executed for a private chapel belonging to the Lomellini, influential members of the aristocracy. These monumental marble compositions continued in the direction set by the Rouen Hercules and the Hydra, yet Puget’s carving technique, line, anatomy and sense of space appear visibly refined by his Genoese experience, a development that has led some scholars to define this period as Puget’s apogee. Success in Genoa brought Puget once again to the attention of the French court and by 1667 he had signed a contract with local authorities in Marseille naming him official architect for the city. The years that followed saw Puget engaged in the completion of a series of Genoese projects, which delayed his definitive return to France. In 1669, the artist’s designs for Marseille were rejected owing to lack of funds, but he was called to head the sculpture workshop of Toulon’s Arsenal, which also provided designs and decorations for ships. Parallel to this, Puget continued working on architectural commissions, few of which survive today, and also received from Colbert authorization to carve three blocks of Carrara marble that had been left unused in the shipyard at Toulon. He employed these for compositions destined for the king’s residence at Versailles, the most famous of which is undoubtedly Milo of Croton, now in the Musée du Louvre, begun in 1671 and completed eleven years later. A powerful reflection on the ephemeral nature of human strength and glory, the statue skilfully combines expression of both physical and spiritual suffering, its surface beautifully describing the contrast between Milo and the lion as a paradigm of that between man and nature. Very well received at court, the statue was followed by a relief of Alexander the Great and Diogenes (1671–89) and a free-standing group of Perseus freeing Andromeda (1678–84), both also in the Louvre today. In 1679, due to continuous friction with Colbert, Puget was relieved of his role at the Arsenal and returned to his native Marseille, where he resided until his death in 1694. There he continued his activity as a sculptor, completing projects for the king and beginning new ones, which displayed an ever more audacious vocabulary and independent mind. In 1682 Puget built himself a house on the


fig. 3 Pierre Puget Salvator Mundi, c. 1655–63 Marble, 46 cm high × 50 cm wide Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille fig. 4 Salvator Mundi (cat. 7)


central rue de Rome, which stands, somewhat altered, to this day (figs. 1 and 2). Above its portal he carved the motto Nul travail sans peine (No work without suffering), and, in a niche atop that, he placed a marble bust of Christ, accompanied by the words Salvator Mundi, Miserere Nobis (Saviour of the World, have mercy on us). The present terracotta is the modello for the bust of Christ Puget installed on the façade of his house in Marseille (fig. 3), as the close correspondences between the two and comparison with the sculptor’s work in the same medium confirm. The marble – acquired by the city of Marseille in 1882 and now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts there – is dated by scholars between 1655 and 1662/63. Indeed 1655 is the year Puget was commissioned to paint an altarpiece representing Christ as Salvator Mundi by the confraternity of the Corpus Domini in Marseille (fig. 5), which appears to be his earliest treatment of this subject. Yet the iconographic differences between the painting and the bust and the greater poise of the marble suggest the sculpture was executed at the beginning of Puget’s stay in Genoa, c. 1662–63, when his style had evolved from the more traditional language of his religious works in the South of France to the bolder compositions of his Genoese years. The Saviour is represented turning his head to one side, a choice that pushes the boundaries of traditional religious iconography, his forehead framed by locks of hair that flow down to his shoulders, in curls that match the smaller ones of his beard. The nose is pointed and slightly aquiline, adding individual character to the face, but the eyes without defined irises, reminiscent of classical sculpture, endow the expression with a sense of timelessness appropriate for the subject. Puget’s use of the drill in the marble is reflected by deeper incisions in the terracotta, and the same hatched treatment of the surface that we encounter for Christ’s robe in the former is mirrored in the latter. Examples of terracotta studies for marble sculptures within Puget’s oeuvre are numerous. Instances dating to the same period as the Salvator Mundi include the



Hercules Resting (Carrara marble, c. 1661–62; Musée du Louvre, Paris; terracotta in Paris, Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts; ill. Pierre Puget, exh. cat. 1994, p. 109), the aforementioned Alessandro Sauli and Saint Sebastian for the church of Santa Maria Assunta at Carignano, Genoa (both 1664–68; terracotta modelli of Alessandro Sauli in Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence [ill. Pierre Puget, 1994, p. 115], Cleveland Museum of Art, and Bode Museum, Berlin; of Saint Sebastian in Musée du Petit Palais, Paris, ill. Pierre Puget, 1994, p. 119), the bust of Marcus Aurelius (c. 1665; marble in Museo di Sant’Agostino, Genoa; terracotta in Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence, ill. Pierre Puget, 1994, p. 125), and the bust of King David (c. 1661; marble in National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; terracotta in Musée Granet, Aixen-Provence, ill. Pierre Puget, 1994, p. 129). The two busts offer particularly relevant frames of reference for the present terracotta and its corresponding marble in Marseille. The studies for Marcus Aurelius and King David display, like our modello, a high level of finish and close resemblance to the completed work, alongside the same attention to textural definition. Their surfaces, moreover, exhibit the same warm auburn varnish, applied unevenly over the lighter-coloured clay, as the Salvator Mundi, and this varnish also appears in the Alessandro Sauli terracotta in Aix-en-Provençe. In addition, both Marcus Aurelius and King David present an inclination of the head towards the right, which, especially in the emperor’s case, establishes a departure from conventional iconography, as with our Salvator Mundi. This element further supports dating our terracotta to Puget’s Genoese period, which, considering the marble was ultimately set into a building only erected in 1682, suggests the artist particularly treasured this image of the Redeemer, holding on to it until he was able to give it pride of place on the façade of his house.

fig. 5 Pierre Puget Salvator Mundi, 1655 Oil on canvas Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille

related literature K. Herding, Pierre Puget: Das bildnerische Werk, Berlin, 1973 M-P. Vial with L. Georget et al., Pierre Puget: Peintre, Sculpteur, Architecte 1620–1694, exh. cat., Marseille, 1994 J.-M. Chancel, ed., Pierre Puget, architecte, Paris, 1997


giulio cartari (c. 1641–1699), possibly by


Saint Mary Magdalen Gilt terracotta 19 in. (48 cm) wide 7 in. (18 cm) deep

The present terracotta Magdalen derives from a celebrated composition, the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni, created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in marble for the Altieri Chapel in the church of San Francesco a Ripa in Rome, executed most likely 1674–75 (fig. 1).1 Our sculpture, however, differs considerably from its illustrious prototype: in order to transform the identity of the figure, outstretched in a typical representation of ecstatic rapture, the author of the terracotta substituted Bernini’s bed and cushions with barren rock; in addition, contrary to the Blessed Ludovica, the Magdalen is shown without a headdress and barefoot. Finally, the Magdalen’s attributes were added, the cross in her left hand and the skull on the ground by her right hand (which is positioned here along the Magdalen’s side, not on the chest as in the marble). The backwards tilt of the head in Bernini’s work is softened in our terracotta, but the expressive intensity of the figure’s parted lips remains remarkable. Features such as the positioning of the left hand to the side and the presence of the rock instead of a bed suggest the Magdalen may originate in a rereading of the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni through the lens of Francesco Aprile’s Saint Anastasia in the Roman church of Sant’Anastasia (left unfinished by the sculptor and completed by his master, Ercole Ferrata, c. 1680–85), the first and most notable adaptation of Bernini’s original model.2 Ruling out a direct attribution to Bernini himself, the attribution of our terracotta to Giulio Cartari is suggested by various elements, chronological and contextual as much as stylistic. Cartari, who would go on to become one of the master’s most faithful associates, is first recorded working for Bernini in the

fig. 1 Gian Lorenzo Bernini The Blessed Ludovica Albertoni Marble, 1674–75 San Francesco a Ripa, Rome



de Sylva Chapel in the Roman church of Sant’Isidoro (1663–64), where, on the basis of stylistic evidence, he executed the marble Truth and Charity on the right wall.3 Further documentary evidence relates to his sojourn in Paris, alongside Bernini, in 1665.4 In the 1670s, thanks to documental and literary sources, we know that Cartari assisted the master in the execution of the great Angels with the Instruments of the Passion for the Ponte Sant’Angelo (he carved, together with Bernini himself, the replica of the Angel with the Superscription; the original is in Sant’Andrea delle Fratte) and of the Funerary Monument to Alexander VII in Saint Peter’s Basilica.5 Cartari was thus a regular presence in Bernini’s workshop at the time he was carving the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni. Indeed, two terracottas directly related to this marble have earlier been associated by scholars with the name of Cartari. The first, in a private collection, was presented at the Roman exhibition Seicento Europeo in 1956–57 as possibly an autograph work by Bernini,6 a hypothesis that was not accepted by Antonia Nava Cellini.7 Rudolf Wittkower therefore suggested that the author may have been a close follower of Bernini, possibly Cartari.8 For the second terracotta, preserved in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, the connection with Cartari was proposed by Philippe Malgouyres.9 A third terracotta, today in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, has been instead proposed to be a preparatory bozzetto by Bernini.10 Since the first two are to be considered workshop replicas, executed most likely very close to the time when the marble Blessed Ludovica Albertoni was completed, it is evident that the composition enjoyed immediate success. If we ascribe the present sculpture to Bernini’s close circle, then the transformation of the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni into the Magdalen should have taken place before the master’s death in 1680, and, in any case, before 1700 (Cartari himself died in 1699). In this light, and taking into consideration the later developments of this invenzione, our Magdalen would be an important rediscovery. The celebrated, lost Magdalen in marble by Antonio Canova (1819–20), which also portrayed the saint lying down (known through a plaster model and through other workshop examples, all preserved today in the Gipsoteca at Possagno), has been associated with Bernini’s prototype.11 Notably, within the field of Venetian art, Giovanni Bonazza had already sculpted the Magdalen lying on the ground accompanied by her traditional attributes (in the three small marble versions in the Musei Civici in Padua, the relation with Bernini’s invenzione is not as strong, as the saint is not caught in ecstatic rapture).12 In the case of the present terracotta, however, we are not faced with the adaptation of a model, but with a homage to Bernini, which is not likely to have originated anywhere but within his workshop. Indeed the treatment of the drapery is so close to that of the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni as to indicate a dating not beyond the seventeenth century, notwithstanding the red hue of the clay, visible on the reverse, which finds no immediate parallel within Roman terracottas of the period. In addition, in the inventory of Cartari’s estate taken after his death, various gilt or “coloured like marble” terracottas are mentioned, presumably executed by the sculptor himself.13 Cupid and Psyche in the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Venezia, in Rome, is to this day the only terracotta attributed with certainty to Cartari, and it relates to the marble group acquired on behalf of Peter the Great in 1719 and today in Saint Petersburg.14 In this work the


drapery, which otherwise closely follows Bernini’s, exhibits a sharper treatment, just like in the present Magdalen. prof. andrea bacchi notes 1 On the Altieri Chapel and the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni, see S. Karlov Perlove, Bernini and the Idealization of Death: The Blessed Ludovica Albertoni and the Altieri Chapel, University Park (PA), 1990, and F. Di Napoli Rampolla, ‘Cronologia delle ristrutturazioni della cappella della beata Ludovica Albertoni a San Francesco a Ripa’, in Gian Lorenzo Bernini regista del Barocco: i restauri, ed. M.G. Bernardini and C. Strinati, Milan, 1999, pp. 97–110. 2 A. Bacchi, ‘Francesco Aprile’, in S. Zanuso, Giulio Cartari, in A. Bacchi and S. Zanuso, eds., Scultura del ’600 a Roma, Milan, 1996, p. 774, fig. 81. 3 A. Negro, Bernini e il “bel composto”. La cappella de Sylva in Sant’Isidoro, Rome, 2002, pp. 24–25 (with previous bibliography), and J. Curzietti, ‘“Con disegno del Cavalier Bernino”: Giulio Cartari e la decorazione della cappella Poli in S. Crisogono a Roma’, Storia dell’arte, 120, 2008, p. 42. 4 On this chapter in Cartari’s biography, see P. Malgouyres, ‘From Invention to Realization: three curious instances of autography in Bernini’s oeuvre’, The Sculpture Journal, XX, no. 2, 2011, pp. 148–49. It has also been proposed that Cartari (who in documentary sources is referred to to as ‘Cartarè’) was of French origin; see A. Marchionne Gunter, ‘Gian Lorenzo Bernini e Giulio Cartarè’, in M. Fagiolo dell’Arco, Berniniana. Novità sul regista del Barocco, Milan, 2002, pp. 218 and 220–21. 5 On Cartari’s career see S. Zanuso, ‘Giulio Cartari’, in Bacchi and Zanuso 1996, cit., pp. 793–94, and Curzietti 2008, cit., pp. 41–53. For his Bust of Cristina of Sweden (Palacio Real de la Granja), see A. Bacchi, catalogue entries in Da Caravaggio a Bernini. Capolavori del Seicento nelle Collezioni Reali di Spagna, exh. cat., ed. G. Redin Michaus, Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, 2017, pp. 228–29, no. 35. 6 V. Martinelli, catalogue entry in Il Seicento europeo. Realismo classicismo barocco, exh. cat., ed. L. Salerno and A. Marabottini, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, 1956, pp. 257–58, no. 338. 7 A. Nava Cellini, ‘La scultura alla mostra del Seicento europeo’, Paragone, VIII, no. 89, 1957, pp. 65–66. 8 R. Wittkower, Bernini. Lo scultore del Barocco romano, translated into Italian by S. D’Amico, with an updated bibliography and critical note by G. Arbore Popescu, Milan, 1990, p. 296, no. 76. 9 C.D. Dickerson III and A. Sigel, catalogue entry in Bernini: Sculpting in Clay, exh. cat., ed. C.D. Dickerson III, A. Sigel and I. Wardropper, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, 2012–13, pp. 212–13, no. 21. 10 C.D. Dickerson III and A. Sigel, catalogue entry ibid., pp. 206–11, no. 20. 11 F. Leone, ‘Un inedito di Antonio Canova: la Maddalena giacente. Il modelletto di un marmo disperso’, Storia dell’arte, 135, 2013, pp. 101 and 105. 12 S. Guerriero, catalogue entries in Dal Medioevo a Canova: sculture dei Musei Civici di Padova dal Trecento all’Ottocento, ed. D. Banzato, Venice, 2000, pp. 167–69, nos. 94–96; see also S. Guerriero, ‘Un “Venere e Amore” di Giovanni Bonazza ad Amburgo’, Arte Veneta, LXX, 2013, pp. 202–05; J. Curzietti, Giovan Battista Gaulli: la decorazione della chiesa del SS. Nome di Gesù, Rome, 2011, ad indicem (but it is not the same). 14 Marchionne Gunter 2002, cit., pp. 221–22, nos. 12, 15, 16 and 18. On the terracottas by Bernini cited in the same inventory see T. Montanari, ‘Creating an Eye for Models: The Role of Bernini’, in New York and Fort Worth 2012–13, cit., pp. 67 and 377 note 28. 15 C. Giometti, Museo Nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia. Sculture in terracotta, Rome, 2011, pp. 72–73, no. 63. See also S. Olegovic Androsov, ‘Amore e Psiche in Russia: Canova immaginario e Canova autentico’, Studi Neoclassici, IV, 2016, pp. 51–55.


peter scheemaeckers the elder (1652–1714)


The Virgin and Child, with Two Angels, c. 1700–02 Terracotta Virgin and Child: 24 ¾ in. (63 cm) high 22 ½ in. (57 cm) wide

Born in Antwerp in 1652 and trained as a sculptor by his uncle Peter Verbrugghen the Elder (1615–1686) from 1661, Peter Scheemaeckers the Elder became master in the Guild of Saint Luke in 1674/75. His claim to fame is his extensive high-quality sculpture for Antwerp churches, besides the training of nineteen apprentices, of whom two were his sons, Hendrik and Peter II; the latter emigrated to London and achieved a distinguished career in England. The elder Peter Scheemaeckers’s masterpieces include the tomb monument to Charles Florentin de Salm-Salm, governor of Breda (1684) in the church of Sint-Catharina at Hoogstraten, the Keurlinckx epitaph (1688) in the cathedral of Antwerp and the tomb monument to the marquess Francisco Marcus del Pico de Velasco (1693) executed for the church of Antwerp’s castle (now demolished and displaced to the church of SintJacob in Antwerp). Many of Scheemaeckers’s designs on paper have survived to this day, principally kept in the Antwerp printroom (Museum Plantin-Moretus). These attest to his virtuosity and imagination, as do the rarer surviving terracotta models by him (for example his Mary Magdalen, inv. 6003, and his Cistercian choir stalls project, inv. 4364, both in the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels). All these works are in a late baroque style, so typical of the Antwerp CounterReformation spirit of the time, although different from its much better studied counterpart in Rome. Extensive collaboration between the workshops of the Quellinus, Verbrugghen, Willemssens, Kerricx, Van den Eynde and Scheemackers in the later seventeenth century in Antwerp may be the single most important factor producing the remarkable unity of style and approach that have made disentangling of individual hands particularly difficult for art historians. One of the early biographers of the Flemish sculpture world, Philippe Baert, librarian to the marquis de Chasteler in the 1770s (Chasteler, incidentally, bought the enormous Tour et Tassis palace in Brussels in 1775 and it is probable that Baert, appropriately, wrote part of his manuscript in the palace built for one of the most important patrons of Flemish sculpture), wrote to a friend: “Convenez, Monsieur, que les Verbrugg[h]en et les Quellin vous donnent bien de l’occupation; le déchiffrement de leurs ouvrages, au Patris, au Filii, au Nepotis, etc., est une espèce de labyrinthe” (You must agree, Sir, that the Verbrugghen and the Quellinus will keep you very busy: deciphering their different works,the fathers’, the sons’, the grandsons’, and so on, is like entering a labyrinth).



In one contract, between the church masters of Sint-Andries, Antwerp, and the cabinetmaker Jan van Meerbeeck for the execution of the organ casing, the sculpture is stipulated to be subcontracted to the “sculptors Willemssen Quellinus or Verbrugghen”. That these three interwoven dynasties are named in one breath shows how much these sculptors were seen as one company or one brand. With this in mind, it becomes risky to perform attributions on purely stylistic grounds. Moreover, Scheemaeckers is known to have designed sculpture that was executed by other members of his dynasty, for example the 1712 high altar (not preserved) of the church of Our Lady at Wuustwezel by Alexander van Papenhoven. The iconography of the Virgin and Child was omnipresent in Antwerp during the Counter-Reformation, as this city became the most northern bastion of Catholicism after the ruthless wars of religion in the sixteenth century that ended effectively with the reconquest of Antwerp by Alessandro Farnese in 1585. The Habsburg Archdukes Albert and Isabella, who reigned from 1598 until 1633, concomitantly with the careers of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, launched an enormous campaign of reconstruction and redecoration of the churches in the Southern Netherlands. The remarkable example that we are considering here is of the second generation of church redecorations, namely that of the second half of the seventeenth century, ending grosso modo with the handing over of the Southern Netherlands from the Spanish to the Austrian Habsburgs, ratified in 1713/14 with the treatises of Utrecht and Rastatt. During this time, the art of the painter was gradually supplanted by that of the sculptor, as is epitomized by the great church redecorations in Antwerp and Ghent, including a host of works ranging from monumental altarpieces, tomb monuments, choir stalls, pulpits, confessionals to communion rails. All this was the result of changes in taste, ones that are nevertheless difficult to pinpoint exactly. Overall it may be said that there was a clear move away from the intellectualized allegories of the early seventeenth century to more emotion-filled and naturalistic representations in the later seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The famous archivist of Antwerp of the early 20th century, Floris Prims, called this ‘fantasia’, as opposed to the rigorism of Jansenism. Indeed, the second half of the seventeenth century was also under the threat of Jansenism. Thus the liturgy’s festive elements were stressed, as was personal devotion. There was a concomitant reconstruction and redecoration of major abbeys, among which an impressive example is Averbode. Its abbot, Servatius Vaes, directed the abbey for half a century, from 1648 to 1698. His predecessors had


largely rebuilt the abbey after the iconoclastic period and under Servatius Vaes’s initiative the Gothic church was entirely rebuilt and redecorated in the Baroque idiom. The first design, by the architect Lucas Faydherbe from Mechelen, was rejected, probably on account of the bad relationship he had with the priory of Leliëndaal in Mechelen, which stood under the responsibility of the abbot of Park at Heverlee, Libert de Pape. Instead the design of Jan II van den Eynde from Antwerpen was chosen. This huge enterprise was started in 1664 and eventually completed in 1672 after an infamous mishap, the collapse of a supporting pillar of the nave. Even before the completion of the church, a contract was drawn up in 1671 between the abbot and Octavius Herry, cabinetmaker in Antwerp, for the manufacture and delivery of extensive choirstalls. The roodloft was commissioned the same year from Gaspar van den Steen. The commissions for choirstalls and roodloft stress the importance of chant in the liturgy of the Norbertine order and their wish to segregate the canons from the lay community. In that respect they are the most important parts of the church furniture and it is not surprising that they had priority at the time of the building of the abbey church, even though one would expect the high altar to receive this privilege. In fact the high altar had been replaced very recently, in 1655, just before the rebuilding of the church. It was then transferred to the new church and did not need updating. Shortly after the death of Abbot Servatius Vaes, his successor, Stephanus van der Steghen (1698–1725), commissioned two monumental side altars for the transept from Scheemaeckers. The first, commissioned on 7 September 1699, was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist; the second, commissioned a year later, to Saint Norbert. Both were consecrated on 13 June 1702. The terracotta group of The Virgin and Child, with Two Angels studied here is remarkably close in composition to the main sculptural group of the altarpiece dedicated to Saint Norbert at Averbode. The only significant difference is the positioning of the group, turned sideways, towards the patron saint to whom the altar is dedicated, Saint Norbert. He kneels in front of the group that is flying sideways on a cloud, instead of frontally and alone. Moreover, in the terracotta, the Christ Child is holding the orb and visually engaging with the viewer, rather than with Saint Norbert. One would be tempted to see in our terracotta an earlier model for the altarpiece, if the altarpiece had not from its inception been contractually stipulated to be dedicated to St Norbert. Normally such iconographic questions would have arisen at the initial stage of design, namely on paper, the drawing being added to the contractual stipulations. This was not effected in this case.


Another version similar to the current terracotta is preserved by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (inv. M.1-2006) and corresponds precisely to a full-scale painted wooden version in the church of Sint-Martinus at Heers, commissioned in about 1702 by the Duchess of Arenberg. Sadly the latter is only preserved in fragmentary form, i.e. the sculptural group, which was removed from a demolished altarpiece in the church. Although the exact identification of the final version, presumably in wood painted to imitate white marble, of Scheemaeckers’s terracotta model studied here remains to be identified, it will have been, if executed, extremely close to the two examples by him at the abbey of Averbode and the church of Sint-Martinus at Heers, that is, a monumental group crowning an altarpiece. dr lon lock


related literature (in order of reference) La sculpture au siècle de Rubens dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux et la principauté de Liège, Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire et Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, exh. cat., Brussels, 1977, pp. 172–85 Ad Jansen and Charles Van Herck, ‘Peeter Scheemaeckers Antwerpsch Beeldhouwer 1652–1714’, Jaarboek van Antwerpen’s Oudheidkundige Kring, 1941, vol. 17, pp. 129–88 Léon Lock, ‘Die Thurn und Taxis in Brüssel. Ihre Gedenkkapellen, Grabmonumente und der Internationalismus ihrer Strategien sozialer Differenzierung, Grab – Kult – Memoria’, in Studien zur gesellschaftlichen Funktion von Erinnerung, Horst Bredekamp zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. Carolin Behrmann, Arne Karsten and Philipp Zitzlsperger, Cologne, Weimar and Vienna, 2007, pp. 203–18 Royal Library Brussels, Baert MS II, 95, 23, fols. 194, 272 Stadsarchief, Antwerp, Notaris A.F. van der Donck 3805 (29/7/1675), fols. 264bis–265, published in Erik Duverger (ed.), Antwerpse kunstinventarissen uit de zeventiende eeuw (Fontes historiae artis Neerlandicae 13), Brussels 1984–2004, vol. 10, pp. 67–68 Floris Prims, ‘Kerkelijk Antwerpen in de XVIIIde eeuw’, Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België, 13, no. 5, 1951, pp. 3–29, esp. p. 5 Jaak Jansen and Herman Janssens, Beeldhouwkunst in de Premonstratenzerabdij van Averbode, Averbode and Brussels, 1999, pp. 73, 74, notes 162–63, 217–29 Albert Dusar, Limburgs Kunstbezit van prehistorie tot classicisme, Hasselt, 1970, p. 172


giovanni bonazza (1654–1736)


Allegory of Winter, c. 1710 Terracotta 13 ¼ in. (33.5 cm) high 7 ¾ in. (20 cm) wide provenance Private collection, Rome Private collection, Padua

In excellent state of conservation, the present terracotta bust is an allegorical portrayal of one of the four seasons, Winter. In his Iconologia (first published in 1593), Cesare Ripa describes the figure of Winter as “an old man, or woman, with white hair and wrinkles, dressed in rags and leather”, adding that Winter is known as “the old age of the year” (1645 edn, p. 600). Here represented with a thick and long beard, Winter is enveloped in a soft, fur-lined cloak fastened to his chest, which covers his entire right shoulder, leaving the left one and part of his chest exposed. His face emaciated, his forehead lined with wrinkles and his thin lips pursed, the old man – whose head is crowned with a wreath featuring fruits – looks out, as if the artist had decided to portray “the old age” described by Ripa as an elderly figure meditating on the human condition, overcome by the fatigue of many years. This figure of Winter is certainly the work of Giovanni Bonazza, one of the foremost interpreters of the Venetian Baroque, whose vocabulary stands out as one of the most distinctive within the Serenissima (Semenzato 1959; Semenzato 1966, pp. 49-51, 119–121; Guerriero 2010; De Vincenti 2017, for an extensive study of Bonazza’s work in terracotta). In the fitting words of Camillo Semenzato, Bonazza had “a truly unique ability as a sculptor, facilitated by a temperament that … must have been good-natured as well as good-humoured, and by a fluid style … that had developed its distinctness rather early on, in his Venetian period, before the artist moved to Padua” (Semenzato 1978, p. 394). Having trained in Venice, close to the sculptor Michele Fabris, known as Ongaro (on this, see Guerriero 2010), Bonazza moved to Padua in the 1690s and opened what would become one of the most prolific sculpture workshops in the Republic of Venice. Bonazza’s early works can be admired to this day in the Serenissima – with examples ranging from the Sibyls for the façade of Santa Maria del Giglio to the Angels on that of the church of the Scalzi, and from the Monument to Girolamo Garzoni in the Basilica de’ Frari to the Theological Virtues beneath the altar in Santa Maria degli Angeli – but the core of his production, and his most prominent works, are certainly to be found in Padua. The attribution of this previously unpublished terracotta to Bonazza is confirmed by comparison with a select number of marble compositions he carved between the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries. Strong similarities can be detected with the magnificent Saint Jerome



fig. 1 Giovanni Bonazza Saint Jerome (detail), c. 1712 Marble Benedictine monastery, Praglia


in the Franciscan convent of Rovigno, dating to the very end of the seventeenth century (see Guerriero in Vicenza 2002, p. 93). The countenance of the present figure displays the same physiognomy and meditative character as that of the hermit saint. Their eyes appear outlined in the same manner, the naturalistic treatment of the wrinkles on both foreheads is identical and so is that of their noses – thin, pointed and with a sharp profile. Just as in the marble St Jerome the curls of the beard are animated by powerful use of the drill and scoring tool, in Winter the artist has used the tip of his spatula to model the clay deeply, thus endowing the beard, parted in two over the figure’s chest, with enhanced depth of field and sculptural quality. Additional and more stringent correspondences can be found comparing our figure with another Saint Jerome (fig. 1), located by the main staircase in the Benedictine monastery at Praglia, near Padua (see Guerriero 2013, pp. 447–49). Several elements are designed identically in both figures – the strongly profiled cheeks, the heavy, half-closed eyelids, the rapidly outlined eyebrows and the expression and shape of the mouths. This very close connection with the statue in Praglia, which was executed around 1712, suggests a dating to the early eighteenth century for the present terracotta. Alongside the sculptures in marble, parallels can be also drawn between Winter and Bonazza’s terracotta Aesculapius in the Musei Civici degli Eremitani, Padua (see Guerriero in Padua 2000, p. 157, no. 81), specifically with regards to the portrayal of the beard and the bony arc of the brow and, overall, the treatment of the clay. Finely modelled and perfectly finished – with the exception of the reverse, which, as was customary, is hollowed out and shows the traces of the sculptor’s fingers in the clay – our terracotta represents a completed model, very close to the final sculpture, rather than a preparatory study, which would have been characterized by a more rapid and sensitive handling (as can be observed in the examples formerly in the Seminario Vescovile in Rovigo). A representation of Winter by Bonazza, not directly related to the present terracotta, is in the Botanical Garden in Padua, together with the remaining three seasons, Spring, Summer and Autumn (see Semenzato 1978). Seemingly more cheerful, the marble in Padua presents a number of compositional differences, such as the absence of the ribbon fastening the old man’s cloak, the use of the cloak to cover the rear of the figure and the heightened naturalism of the wrinkled chest. Our model represents therefore a variation on the theme of this specific allegory. As Semenzato noted, far from limiting himself within the boundaries of traditional repertoires, our artist “sought innovation whenever possible. Novelties certainly fascinated Bonazza and not only in stylistic terms, but even more so when they touched on the very essence of a subject” (Semenzato 1978, p. 395). To conclude, I would like to point out two works, directly connected to the present Winter, which have emerged during my research. One is what could arguably be identified as the first study (primo pensiero) for this composition, a terracotta (30 cm high) that was presented without attribution in a sale at Semenzato, Venice, in May 1998 (lot 17; fig. 2). Catalogued as a Silenus, this small bust is undoubtedly a preparatory, freely modelled, version of our Winter, as

evident from photographs. Lastly, a marble bust that qualifies as a later workshop derivation from the present terracotta should be mentioned (fig. 3). Part of the garden decorations at Villa Borin in Este, this work testifies to the legacy of the master’s compositions even after his death.

fig. 2 Giovanni Bonazza, attributed to Winter, c. 1710 Terracotta Formerly with Semenzato, Venice

dr maichol clemente

fig. 3 Giovanni Bonazza, workshop of Winter, c. 1730–40 (?) Stone Villa Borin, Este

related literature C. Semenzato, ‘Giovanni Bonazza’, Saggi e Memorie di Storia dell’Arte, 2, 1959, pp. 281–314 C. Semenzato, La scultura veneta del Seicento e del Settecento, Venice, 1966 C. Semenzato, ‘Le Statue dell’Orto Botanico di Padova’, Arte Veneta, 32, 1978, pp. 394–98 Dal Medioevo a Canova. Sculture dei Musei Civici di Padova dal Trecento all’Ottocento, exh. cat., Musei Civici degli Eremitani, Padua, 20 February–16 July 2000, ed. D. Banzato et al., Venice, 2000 Orazio Marinaldi e la scultura veneta fra Sei e Settecento, exh. cat., Palazzo Thiene, Vicenza, 6 December 2002–12 January 2003, ed. M. de Vincenti et al., Padua, 2002 S. Guerriero, ‘La prima attività di Giovanni Bonazza’, Arte Veneta, 67, 2010, pp. 73–101 S. Guerriero, ‘Girolamo Maria Rosa, Bortolo Brasi, Giovanni Marchiori e gli intagli del refettorio con una nota sul “San Girolamo” di Giovanni Bonazza’, in Santa Maria Assunta di Praglia, Storia, arte, vita di un’abbazia benedettina, ed. C. Ceschi et al., Padua, 2013 M. De Vincenti, The Adoration of the Magi by Giovanni Bonazza. The Reliefs of the Chapel of the Rosary in Venice: Studies, Models and D’après Versions, Segrate (MI), 2017


giuseppe piamontini (1664–1742)


Saint Mark, datable to 1693 Terracotta 18 ½ in. (47 cm) high 11 in. (28 cm) wide

fig. 1 Giuseppe Piamontini Saint Mark Santi Michele e Gaetano, Florence


Giuseppe Piamontini was a follower – though twelve years younger – of Giambattista Foggini (1652–1725), founder of the school of Florentine late Baroque sculpture which flourished under the last members of the Medici dynasty of Grand Dukes (Kader 1996). He studied in the short-lived, but effective, Medici academy founded by Cosimo III in Rome between 1681 and 1686. When he returned to Florence, the heir apparent, Gran Principe Ferdinando (1663–1713), took a special interest in Piamontini – perhaps partly because they were almost the same age – and commissioned from him many sculptures, the first when the sculptor was only fourteen, in marble, Saint John the Baptist for the Baptistry of the Cathedral (exh. cat. Florence 2013). The present statuette is a modello for a colossal marble statue of Saint Mark that Piamontini carved for the new, Baroque, church of Santi Michele e Gaetano in the centre of Florence (fig. 1; Chini 1984, pp. 217–18, pl. 258): this was attributed to him first by Lankheit (1962, pp. 165–66) and confirmed by Montagu (1974, fig. 27), who identified it as one of the two statues on the interior façade of the church that are called in the sculptor’s autobiography only “due Apostoli Grandi”: “and having now some familiarity with [Piamontini’s] style, we can suggest his authorship for the ‘St Mark’ and the ‘St Simon’, or ‘Judas Thaddeus’ [now believed to be St Luke]. Both of them wear heavy cloth, with thick rather angular ridges, which served also for the ‘Abraham’ of a quarter of a century later, and the ‘St Mark’ makes use of an old physiognomic device, repeating in the prominent cheekbones long nose and downturned mouth exaggerated by centuries of dust, the features of the lion at his feet. In the raised foot and complex twist of the body we can compare his pose to that of the porcelain Faun or the bronze Satyr.” The Saint Mark is unique among the series of statues inasmuch as the original contract of 27 April 1693 between the sculptor and his patrons, the Theatine monks, has survived (Chini, 1984, p. 304, doc. 40). It was to follow a signed drawing and to be carved out of a single block of white Carrara marble standing about four braccia high (i.e. c. 233 cm, or just below eight foot, tall). It had to be finished within six months and Piamontini would be paid 350 scudi, of which he received an advance of 100 scudi, followed by a number of much smaller instalments of just 12 scudi, which then merged in 1694–95 with those for three narrative reliefs to go below his and other similar statues (Chini 1984, pp. 305–06, doc. 41). Alas, there is no specific payment for a clay model, although, for statues of Hope and Poverty that had been carved previously for the façade by Permoser, that sculptor had been paid 10 scudi on 15 December 1685 for the full-size modelli, and “other small ones to show to the Grand Duke” (Chini 1984, p. 303, doc. 39: “Per li




detti Modelli grandi ed altri piccoli da mostrarsi al Gran Duca”). The present model could well have been the subject of the first instalment that the sculptor received about one month later, on 5 June 1693, while the statue – presumably all but finished – was installed in its niche by a mason and labourer (replacing an earlier, old-fashioned image) just under a year later, on 30 May 1694. It may also have been an – otherwise undescribed – statuette exhibited under Piamontini’s name at Santissima Annunziata in 1705 (Meloni Trkulja 1977, p. 584: Piamontini: …“una statuetta”). dr charles avery

related literature Giuseppe Richa, SJ, Notizie storiche delle chiese fiorentine …, Florence, 1745, III, pp. 191–230, esp. p. 214 (Piamontini’s name in a list of the sculptors who participated in carving the twelve Apostles and two saints for the interior of the church) K. Lankheit, Florentinische Barockplastik: Die Kunst am Hofe der letzten Medici 1670–1743, Munich, 1962 F.J. Cummings and M.Chiarini, eds., The Twilight of the Medici: Late Baroque Art in Florence, 1670–1743 / Gli Ultimi Medici: Il tardo barocco a Firenze, 1670–1743, exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts / Palazzo Pitti, Florence, 1974 J. Montagu, ‘Some small sculptures by Giuseppe Piamontini’, Antichità Viva, XIII, no. 4, 1974, pp. 1–19 S. Meloni Trkulja, ‘I due primi cataloghi di mostre fiorentine’, in Scritti di storia dell’arte in onore di Ugo Procacci, 2 vols., Florence, 1977, II, p. 584 E. Chini, La chiesa e il convento dei Santi Michele e Gaetano a Firenze, Florence, 1984, pp. 217–19 S. Bellesi, ‘L’antico e i virtuosismi tardobarocchi nell’opera di Giuseppe Piamontini’, Paragone, XLII, (N.S. 28), no. 497, July 1991, pp. 21–38, pls. 25–52 G. Pratesi, Repertorio della scultura fiorentina del Seicento e Settecento, Turin, 1993, pp. 55–56 A. Kader, ‘Piamontini’, in The Dictionary of Art, ed. J. Turner, London 1996, vol. 24, pp. 696–97 M. de Luca, ‘Bronzetti e marmi del Gran Principe Ferdinando nell’inventario del 1713’, in Arte Collezionismo Conservazione, Scritti in onore di Marco Chiarini, Florence, 2004 Il Gran Principe Ferdinando de’ Medici (1663–1713): collezionista e mecenate, exh. cat., ed. A. Natali and R. Spinelli, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, 2013, pp. 384–85, no. 97


michiel van der voort the elder (1667–1737)


Charity Terracotta 19 ¾ in. (50 cm) high

fig. 1 Michiel Van der Voort Charity Marble Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels


The present terracotta group of Charity constitutes a fascinating addition to the corpus of Flemish sculptor Michiel Van der Voort the Elder, the author of important contributions to the development of the Flemish Baroque. These include the pulpits now in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, formerly in Saint Bernard’s abbey in Hemiksem (1713), and in the Cathedral of Saint Romuald (or Rombold or Rombout) in Mechelen, originally from the church of Onze Lieve Vrouw van Leliëndaal (1723); church furnishings including wooden confessionals; and funerary monuments, such as those for Count Prosper Ambrosius de Precipiano (1709) and for Archbishop Hubertus Guilelmus de Precipiano, both in the Cathedral of Mechelen. In stylistic terms, Van der Voort’s images of saints and allegorical figures all display closely comparable characteristics, which, as illustrated below, confirm our Charity’s attribution to the master. A native of Antwerp, Van der Voort was registered with the local guild of Saint Luke in 1690, and set off for Rome shortly after that date. His sojourn in the Eternal City significantly influenced his artistic vocabulary, which visibly tempers the tendencies of the late Flemish Baroque style with the lesson of classical antiquity, as attested in the present terracotta. The theme of Charity, understood in its religious sense as a theological virtue, recurs within Van der Voort’s oeuvre. The Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels hold a beautiful marble group of the same subject (fig. 1), and another version of it, this time in stone and with the main character standing up, is today in a private collection. In both cases, the female figure is accompanied by three children and not two as in the present work. Close resemblances in terms of facial features and posture exist between the standing child in the Musées royaux group and that in our terracotta. Both lift their arms in the air seeking the female figure’s embrace, a motif that reappears in a drawing by Van der Voort now in the Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp (fig. 2). The similarities are equally striking between the infant being held in the woman’s arms in our terracotta and the one sleeping in the marble group. The same type of figure, with a willowy yet plump anatomy, oval face, high forehead and smooth hair, is repeated by Van der Voort, for example, in the two genii in the funerary monument to Count Prosper Ambrosius de Precipiano (fig. 3), and in one of the putti that sits at the foot of the statue of Saint John for the choir door in St James’ Church in Antwerp (1723; fig. 4). The overall appearance of the central figure in Charity, with her tranquil countenance and delicate gestures, also finds parallels in other works by the sculptor. Her face is sensitively modelled, with a small mouth and almond-shaped, partially closed eyes, and her hair is arranged in soft wavy strands. The same


fig. 2 Michiel Van der Voort The Virgin and Child Pen and brown ink and grey ink wash on paper Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp fig. 3 Michiel Van der Voort Funerary Monument of Count Prosper Ambrosius de Precipiano (detail), 1709 Marble Sint-Romboutskathedraal, Mechelen fig. 4 Michiel Van der Voort Choir door (detail), 1723 Marble Sint-Jacobskerk, Antwerp

traits characterize Van der Voort’s figure of Hope in the wooden confessional of Antwerp Cathedral (1713; fig. 5) and of The Virgin in the monument to Archbishop Hubertus Guilelmus de Precipiano. A comparably sophisticated hair arrangement can be found, moreover, in the terracotta allegory of Constance by Van der Voort now in the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, which also presents a treatment of the drapery very similar to the present one (54.5 cm high; fig. 7). These comparisons clearly illustrate Michiel Van der Voort the Elder’s authorship of the present composition, which is further confirmed, in the specific case of his terracottas, when one observes their consistent level of finish, with elements such as the drapery rapidly sketched, and Van der Voort’s characteristically delicate yet brisk quality of modelling. dr alain jacobs

related literature M.E. Tralbaut, De Antwerpse “meester constbeldthouwer” Michiel van der Voort de Oude 1667–1737, Antwerp, 1950 P. Philippot et al., eds., L’architecture religieuse et la sculpture baroques dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux et la Principauté de Liège 1600–1700, Liège, 2003, pp. 995–1006 A. Jacobs, ‘Michiel van der Voort’, in Le Baroque dévoilé/Barok onthuld, exh. cat., Hotel de Ville, Brussels, 2011, pp. 115–88



fig. 5 Michiel van der Voort Hope (detail), 1713 Oak Antwerp, Confessional of the Cathedral of Our Lady fig. 6 Charity (cat. 12)

fig. 7 Michiel Van der Voort Constance, c. 1709 Terracotta Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels




francesco moratti (or maratti), called il padovano (c. 1669–1719), attributed to

Two Angels kneeling in Adoration Terracotta 15 ¾ in. (40 cm) high 14 ½ in. (37 cm) high provenance Private collection, Amsterdam, before 1995 Bruce Livie, Munich

This beautiful and emotionally intense pair of highly finished terracotta modelli of angels would have been made for presentation to a potential client, in preparation for a later commission to be executed in marble. The style is undoubtedly Roman and suggests a sculptor in the first or second generation of followers of Bernini and Algardi. The angels’ poses of loving adoration – even their respective praying and folded hands – recall those of the locus classicus for such angels, the splendid pair in gilt bronze made by Bernini for the Cappella del Santissimo Sacramento off the right aisle of Saint Peter’s, Rome, of 1675 (fig. 1). Their intended size when finished can be calculated quite precisely from the scale carefully incised along the upper edge of the angel to the viewer’s right. Assuming this to be in Roman palmi (‘hand-spans’), their width at that point would be 67 cm, and the height of the angels themselves (without the pedestal) about twice that, i.e. 134 cm, or nearly five feet. They must therefore have been models for a monumental statue. The most likely author of the statues presented here is Francesco Moratti (whose surname was spelt in various ways). Moratti came from Padua, where he was a pupil of the immigrant Genoese sculptor Filippo Parodi. According to a contemporary biographer, they fell out because Parodi feared Moratti’s competition, and so the promising young sculptor left for Rome around 1690. There he received a number of major commissions and in 1697 he took over from Papaleo the carving of one of the large Flying Angels for the Chapel of Saint Ignatius Loyola in the Gesù. He also produced a major narrative group of Saint Francis de Sales with an Angel for the church dedicated to this saint. These angels closely resemble the ones in the present pair. The wings of the right-hand angels both in the Gesù and here are spread to the viewer’s right, with bold swathes of drapery settling round the midriff. The wings of the left-hand angel accompanying Saint Francis de Sales, on the other hand, resemble the ones of the left angel in the pair presented here: in both cases the wings are closed so as not to interrupt the angel’s downward look and the silhouette to the viewer’s left. Another pair of similar, although flying, angels support a portrait medallion on the tomb of Francesco Erizzo (d. 1700) in the Basilica of San Marco, Rome. The deceased was the young son of the representative of the Republic of Venice in Rome, a fact that supports the attribution of this tomb to Moratti. Moratti






fig. 1 Gian Lorenzo Bernini Two Angels kneeling in Adoration Chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento, Saint Peter’s, Rome

would go on to produce four statues for the Abbey of Montecassino, one of them depicting Pope Clement XI (1703–09); Saint Simon, one of the great Twelve Apostles in the church of Saint John Lateran (1708–15); and the Berniniesque Triton Fountain in Piazza Bocca della Verità, from 1717 until his death in 1719. Moratti was thus one of the most innovative and original of the secondary sculptors of the third generation of the Roman Baroque. dr charles avery

related literature A. Riccoboni, Roma nell’arte: La scultura nell’evo moderno, dal quattrocento ad oggi, Rome, 1942, pp. 270–71 C. Faccioli, ‘Dello scultore Francesco Moratti, detto “Il Padovano”’, L’Urbe, N.S. 37, nos. 3–4, 1974, pp. 8–18 R. Enggass, Early Eighteenth-Century Sculpture in Rome, University Park, 1976, pp. 115, pls. 81–87



laurent delvaux (1696–1778), circle of


Standing Hercules at Rest Terracotta 15 in. (38 cm) high

fig. 1 Laurent Delvaux Hercules wit the Erymanthian Boar, 1770 Marble Palace of Charles-Alexandre de Lorraine, Brussels


Laurent Delvaux was a pupil of Pieter-Denis Plumier in Antwerp before he moved to London in 1717. The two collaborated with Peter Scheemakers (Scheemaeckers) the Younger on the commemorative monument of the Duke of Buckingham. Delvaux also travelled to Rome in 1728, staying for four years, before becoming court sculptor in Brussles in 1733. One of Delvaux’s most important works was the funerary moment to the Van der Noort family in the Carmelite church in Brussels, carved around 1746–48. The only surviving part of it is the figure of Pallas held by the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Prince Charles-Alexandre de Lorraine (1744–1780), governor general of the Austrian Netherlands, commissioned a monumental statue of Hercules with the Erymanthian Boar from Laurent Delvaux between 1768 and 1770. It was placed prominently at the foot of the stairway in the prince’s palace in Brussels (fig. 1), in order to impress visitors to the palace at the very moment they alighted from their carriages. Charles de Lorraine’s personal interest in Hercules was reserved for an elite level of understanding: it was linked to the alchemical discourse displayed on the walls of the state staircase around the statue (Van Lennep 1987). This decoration was carried out under the direction of the architect Jean Faulte (1726–1766), succeeded by Laurent-Benoît Dewez (1731–1812). The stuccoists were Carlo Giuseppe Spinedi (1722–1795) and the particularly inventive and refined Bartholomé Cramillion (fl. 1755–72) (Lemaire 1981; McDonnell 2002). Standing 2.88 cm high and carved from Carrara marble, it was one of the most important sculptures Delvaux produced for the governor. It was unveiled with a large degree of pomp and ceremony on 5 May 1770 and was described two days later in the Gazette des Pays-Bas: “on posa au bas du Grand-Escalier de la Cour, une statue de marbre blanc représentant Hercule appuyé sur sa massue, se reposant après ses travaux. Cette figure, de grandeur héroïque, peut-être regardée comme un des Chefs-d’œuvre du Sieur Delvaux de Nivelles”(they placed at the foot of the Grand Court Staircase a statue in white marble representing Hercules leaning on his club, resting after his Labours. This figure of heroic grandeur may be regarded as one of the great masterpieces of Sieur Delvaux de Nivelles) (quoted Jacobs 1999, p. 461). The present terracotta is particularly reminiscent of this work in Brussels, whose pose is largely a mirror image of it, although they are looking in the same direction. Hercules is leaning on his club with his right elbow, the top of his club covered by the Nemean lion’s flayed skin. At the same time, while the back of his left hand is leaning against his thigh, he is holding his open right hand up. This is an unconventional sign for a god and could be a sign of peace, as in a conversation with the opponent, ‘Ho, ho, that’s enough war’. Following traditional iconography, Hercules leans exclusively on virtues, symbolized by the club, while at the same time holding in his other




hand (as in the Hercules Farnese) the three apples of the Hesperides. Here, on the other hand, Hercules does not hold the apples. Instead he looks self-confidently forward, exhibiting his naked body in a dynamic way, his right foot forward. This movement is stressed by the forward-curving shape of the socle. The club also functions as a support at the back, to stabilize the composition. This also enables us to presuppose that this terracotta was a preparatory design for a large-scale marble or stone statue, as yet unidentified. The vigorous modeling technique, particularly for details like the rendering of hair and beard, points to two further terracottas, also representing Hercules, that appeared on the art market in recent years. These two variants of a same composition present Hercules with his left hand on his chin, tired of his Labours and in a thoughtful attitude, possibly even in a melancholic one, which is stressed by the crossing of his legs. It is not clear in what context such a reflective Hercules would be fitting, but, stylistically, the indolent hero is close to the work of Laurent Delvaux’s later works, as his Brussels Hercules at Rest. Unlike the vigorous modelling of the face, hair and beard, our Hercules has an anatomy that corresponds more to the rendering of a real person than an ideal one and therefore is more akin to an exercise after the living model than after the antique, particularly the Farnese Hercules, on which the muscles are all vastly exaggerated. It would be fascinating one day to rediscover the marble statue that was conceived with this terracotta model. Representations of Hercules were extremely popular during the Renaissance. His overcoming of evil and vice through strength and virtue during his Twelve Labours was particularly inspirational to European kings and princes and was therefore adopted by them as an important symbol of martial victory and royal power. For instance, the royal house of Navarre attempted to fabricate direct familial and dynastic links to the hero; in Florence, the Medici propagated the legend which declared Hercules the original founder of the city in order to bolster their new sovereignty; the Este in Ferrara christened several family members Hercules – Ercole I (1431–1505), Ercole II (1508–1559); the sovereigns of Burgundy, England and France were routinely referred to as Hercules in their domestic panegyric literature. It was also the case that these and many other European rulers were represented as the god on their coinage. However, it was the Habsburgs who were perhaps the most systematic in using the Herculean myth for the demonstration of power and influence. Charles V adopted the Herculean iconography both of the two columns, which he placed at the limits of the known world, and of the lion’s head, in reference to the Nemean lion he defeated with his bare hands. Further, he derived his motto ‘plus ultra’ from the phrase ‘non plus ultra’ (no further) referring to Hercules’s designation of the extremity


of the ancient world at present Gibraltar and Ceuta, thus claiming to have surpassed the mythological hero’s exploits of exploration with his establishment of colonies in America. The association with Hercules was also considered important for European rulers because it was known through surviving ancient art and literature that the Roman emperors had identified themselves with him. Therefore, an association with Hercules became important in their selfpromotion as the rightful heirs of the Holy Roman Empire. dr lon lock

related literature G. Bruck, ‘Habsburger als “Herculier”’, Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien, 50, 1953, pp. 191–98, esp. p. 198 W. McDonald, ‘Maximilian I of Habsburg and the veneration of Hercules: on the revival of myth and the German Renaissance’, The Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 6, no. 1, 1976, pp. 139–54, especially p. 139 F. Matsche, Die Kunst im Dienst der Staatsidee Kaiser Karls VI. Ikonographie, Ikonologie und Programmatik des “Kaiserstils”, Berlin 1981, pp. 349–52 C. Lemaire, ‘Le palais de Charles de Lorraine 1750–1980’, Bulletin trimestriel du Crédit Communal de Belgique, nos. 135–36, 1981, p. 13 D. Coekelberghs and P. Loze, 1770–1830, Autour du Néoclassicisme en Belgique, exh. cat. Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels 1985, pp. 45–46 Jacques Van Lennep, ‘L’Hercule chymiste. Les laboratoires, bibliothèques et décorations alchimiques du Palais de Charles de Lorraine à Bruxelles’, in Charles-Alexandre de Lorraine. Gouverneur général des Pays-Bas autrichiens, exh. cat., ed. Claudine Lemaire, Bibliothèque royale Albert Ier, Brussels, 1987, pp. 147–71, 177–81 C. Lukatis and H. Ottomeyer, Herkules. Tugendheld und Herrscherideal. Das Herkules-Monument in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, Eurasburg 1997, pp. 64–65 A. Jacobs, Laurent Delvaux (Gand, 1696–Nivelles, 1778), Paris, 1999, pp. 457–66 J. McDonnell, ‘The art of the sculptor-stuccatore Bartholomew Cramillion in Dublin and Brussels 1755–72’, Apollo, 156, no. 487, 2002, pp. 41–49 S. Castri (ed.), The Sparkling Soul of Terracotta, Milan, 2014, pp. 58–63



north italian, late 17th / early 18th century


Model for a Monument to a Victorious Commander Bronzed terracotta 12 ½ in. (32 cm) high 6 ¾ in. (17 cm) wide provenance Professor Michael Jaffé CBE (1923–1997), Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; thence by family descent (lent to the Fitzwilliam Museum, 1976–2016)

fig. 1 Filippo Parodi (1630–1702) Portrait of Francesco Moroni as Admiral, 1687 Bronze Palazzo Ducale, Venice

This fascinating modellino of a warrior in late seventeenth-/early eighteenthcentury armour is shown three-quarter-length above a trophy of arms. These arms represent those of the vanquished foe, in this case the great Ottoman Empire, which had reached the gates of Vienna in 1683. The primary indicator of this is the distinctly Ottoman style of the quiver at the base of the figure, with the Empire’s three crescent moons emblazoned upon it. The ‘bronzed’ nature of the surface suggests our terracotta was perhaps a model for a larger bronze monument to a famed military commander, such as the three-quarter-length bronze bust set upon a marble trophy of Ottoman weaponry dedicated to the memory of Francesco Morosini, ‘The Peloponnesian’ (1619–1694), that was erected inside the Ducal Palace in Venice (fig. 1). The work was cast by Filippo Parodi on 23 December 1687, after the successful reception of the marble bust (now in the Museo Correr) that the artist had carved previously. The present sitter – who holds in his right hand what appears to be a ceremonial baton, symbol of military command – is depicted without the long wig, or perruque, fashionable at the time. The choice to appear bare-headed may have been intended as an allusion to the great generals of ancient Rome, whose effigies were known from surviving ancient busts. But it is also interesting to note that in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries ‘exotic’ Ottoman fashion, which included shaving one’s hair, enjoyed considerable popularity in Christian Europe, despite its connection with the enemy. In Poland specifically this Ottoman influence was strongly rooted, since Prince Stephen Bathory had introduced the style around 1571. Polish national dress became configured as self-consciously ‘Oriental’ and involved bearing curved sabres, wearing caftans and elaborate silk sashes and shaving one’s head. Indeed, at the 1683 Siege of Vienna some Polish soldiers looked so ‘Ottoman’ that they had to wear straw hats to distinguish themselves from the enemy. Considered in conjunction with our terracotta’s iconography, this suggests that the present sitter may have been a commander in the Polish army during one of the Polish-Ottoman conflicts that took place throughout the seventeenth century. dr charles avery






jacques de koninck (1703–after 1777)


Modello for the Vision of Saint Hubert in the Church of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Lombeek, Belgium, 1738–39 Terracotta 16 ¼ in. (41.3 cm) high 8 ¾ in. (22 cm) wide 6 ¼ in. (16 cm) deep provenance Private collection, France

fig. 1 Jacques de Koninck Confessional, 1739 Wood and other materials Church of Our Lady of the Ascension, Ninove fig. 2 Jacques de Koninck Panelling and confessional, 1764–65 Wood Saint Peter’s, Meerbeke


The present terracotta is a study for the kneeling figure of Saint Hubert in the group of The Vision of Saint Hubert that is part of the pulpit of the church of Our Lady at Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Lombeek, west of Brussels, completed by the Flemish sculptor Jacques de Koninck in 1743. De Koninck belongs to the highly accomplished school of eighteenth-century Flemish Baroque sculpture. He was a pupil of Jacques Bergé (1696–1756), and worked for numerous religious institutions in Brussels and the surrounding Brabant region. Like his contemporaries Jacques Bergé, Jean-Baptiste Van der Haegen and Simon-Joseph Duray, he was involved in some of the principal projects of architectural renovation of the period, such as the sumptuous confessional for the north aisle of the abbey church of Our Lady of the Ascension in Ninove (1739, fig. 1), which is a pendant to the one in the south aisle by Theodor Verhaegen. An excellent sculptor in wood, de Koninck carved, amongst other things, the boiserie for the church of Saint Martin d’Asse (1763) and the elaborate panelling and confessional for the church of Saint Peter in Meerbeke (1764–65, fig. 2), alongside two altars. He also executed a number of pulpits, such as those for the Dominican church in Brussels (1752, lost), for the church of Saint Martin in Strijtem (c. 1751), for the church of Notre Dame de Zandbergen, close to Grammont, and, finally, for the church of Wambeek.


fig. 3 Jean-Baptiste Goynaut, F. Trif, Christiaan Bogaert and Jacques de Koninck Organ, 1753 Wood and other materials Church of Our Lady, Onze-LieveVrouw-Lombeek fig. 4 Jacques de Koninck Pulpit (detail), 1743 Wood Church of Our Lady, Onze-LieveVrouw-Lombeek


Towards the middle of the eighteenth century, the Gothic church of Our Lady in Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Lombeek underwent a period of significant interior renovation. The walls were covered with wooden panelling, which included confessionals and oak doors, and, starting in 1753, a grand organ was erected above the main portal (fig. 3). The structure was conceived by Jean-Baptiste Goynaut, who employed, for the sculpture, Jacques de Koninck. De Koninck had already been working in Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Lombeek since 1739, when he had signed an agreement with the church for the execution of a pulpit. The present terracotta, a study for this commission, must therefore date to 1738–39, when de Koninck would have presented his designs to the canons. Final payment for the pulpit was made in 1743, the year of its completion. De Koninck’s structure (fig. 4), with its side stairs, is representative of the evolution of the Flemish pulpit, also exemplified by Laurent Delvaux’s work in the Cathedral of Saint Bavo in Ghent (1741–45). Combining a naturalistic aesthetic with an ornamental one, it embodies the characteristics of the rocaille. Sinking its roots in the base of the pulpit, an oak tree rises, majestically dividing itself into two great branches, which encircle a relief panel illustrating the Annunciation. The tree climbs up to the canopy, which it appears to support. A Tree of Life, it is the symbolic location of the fight between Good and Evil, here represented by the serpent (Temptation) that curls itself around the right branch, while an


fig. 5 Detail of fig. 4 showing Saint Hubert and the Stag

angel chases it away with an arrow. On the other branch, Christ triumphs after his sacrifice, borne on the cross by another angel, located where the preacher recites the Gospels. At the foot of the composition another conflict takes place, which which will take Saint Hubert to the salvation of his soul. The nobleman Hubert of Liège (656/58–727), a Frankish prince, neglected his duties to dedicate himself to hunting, a passion that, the legend tells us, he could not resist, even on Good Friday. Having set out alone that day, he rode deep into the forest, until he came across a white stag, which bore a shining cross on his forehead. At that point, Hubert heard a voice: “Until when will this vain passion make you forget the salvation of your soul?” Seized by great fear, Hubert knelt to the ground and asked the vision what he was to do. The voice ordered him to repent his sins and to show himself worthy of his Lord. From that point onwards, Hubert conducted a righteous existence, and in 705 he was nominated to succeed the bishop, Saint Lambert, as the head of diocese of Tongres-Maastricht. One century later, his relics were transferred by the Benedictines to the monastery of Andain in the Ardennes, which changed its name in honour of Saint Hubert. Patron saint of the hunt and of foresters, Saint Hubert was a very popular object of cult across the Low Countries. In the village of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Lombeek, where the church of Our Lady was already a place of pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin, Saint Hubert was particularly venerated. Around 1300 the village belonged to the Walcourts, lords of Aa and Lombeek, but in 1381 it passed under the lords of Gaasbeek. Could they have been at the origin of the local cult of Saint Hubert? Precious relics of the saint were donated to the church in the seventeenth century and several works of art testify to a devotion to him. The benches of the church wardens (Kermeesterbank), by the Brussels artist S.J. Duray, executed around 1772, are decorated with busts of the Virgin and Saint Hubert, the same figures that we find in de Koninck’s pulpit.



fig. 6 Nicolas Van der Veken Saint Hubert and the Stag, c. 1700–08 Boxwood Church of Our Lady, Onze-LieveVrouw-Lombeek

The present terracotta modello corresponds, down to the most minute detail, to the final, life-size figure in wood in the church of Our Lady (fig. 5). The saint is kneeling in prayer, his hands crossed over his chest and his expression full of gratitude for his newly found redemption. He wears boots, trousers, a tunic fitted tightly on the wrists, an overcoat buttoned on the shoulders and a neck scarf. The artist has taken great care in designing his clothing. Saint Hubert also has a purse and a hunting horn attached to his string belt, while his fur-lined hat and his sword lie on the ground at his feet. These two objects appear closer to the figure than in the final composition. In the pulpit, the figure of the saint is accompanied by those of two dogs and of the stag. De Koninck found inspiration for his composition in a small boxwood reliquary representing Saint Hubert and the stag (52 cm high) by the sculptor Nicolas Van der Veken, dating to the beginning of the eighteenth century and also preserved in the church at Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Lombeek (fig. 6). A direct correlation exists between the two works in terms of the attitude of the saint, the details of his dress, the noble traits of his face, and his type of hat. The dogs in the final composition, one lying down and the other one seated, also draw on Van der Veken’s example. The dynamic, grand structure of the composition, however, is entirely de Koninck’s. The handling of the clay in our modello is powerful, strong and subtle at the same time, which shows de Koninck’s talent as a modeller. The side of the figure facing the viewers in the church is outlined with particular attention to detail, to the point that the veins in the saint’s hands are represented, whilst the opposite side is treated more summarily. On the same side, towards the rear, de Koninck has punctured the clay in four places, in order to avoid breakage during firing. The only terracotta to survive by Jacques de Koninck, the present sculpture represents a significant rediscovery for the study of this artist. dr alain jacobs


related literature E. Marchal, La sculpture et les chefs-d’œuvres de l’orfèvrerie belges, Brussels, 1895, p. 614 A. Joly, Annales de la Société d’Archéologie de Bruxelles, 1897, p. 158 M. Devigne, in U. Thieme and F. Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. 21, 1927, p. 270 E.W. Bergé, ‘Jacques Bergé Brussels beeldhouwer, 1696–1756’, Verhandelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België, Klasse der Schone Kunsten, 48, 1986, passim P. Philippot et al., ed., L’architecture religieuse et la sculpture baroques dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux et la Principauté de Liège 1600–1770, Liège, 2003, p. 1044


pierre surugue (1728–1786)


Satyr teaching his Son to play the Pipes Terracotta 14 ¼ in. (36.5 cm) high 8 ¾ in. (22.5 cm) wide Signed Surugue F

Pierre Surugue was born into a family of artists. His father Pierre-Etienne was a sculptor (1698–1772) and his uncle Louis (1686–1762) an engraver. He was admitted to the École de l’Académie Royale in Paris when he first entered the sculpture competition for its Grand Prix in 1758, and went on to win the second prize the following year, with a bas-relief representing Absalom ordering the Death of Amnon. A gifted portraitist, Surugue was equally praised by contemporaries for his narrative flair, particularly evident in his reliefs and small-scale terracottas of mythological inspiration, of which the present composition is a fine example. A pair of satyrs, identified by their pointed ears and goat’s legs, sit on a rocky formation, the older figure playing the pipes and holding a musical score, which appears to be the object of the younger satyr’s desire. These woodland creatures feature in Greek and Roman mythology as companions of Dionysus, the god of wine and festivity (known as Bacchus in the Latin tradition), whose revelries they accompany with the sound of their pipes and tambourines. The present theme – a playful representation of the initiation to music – was very dear to Surugue, who modelled different renditions of it, each time slightly altering the position of the figures and their interaction. The use of subjects drawn from ancient mythology for allegorical purposes was a well-established tradition in Surugue’s time, and he would have been taught about it at the Académie, where the study of antiquity formed a central part of every artist’s training. Specifically, the imaginary and timeless nature of legendary figures such as satyrs endowed them with a universal quality that perfectly lent itself to the purposes of allegory. Yet, in the case of Surugue’s Satyr teaching his Son to play the Pipes, it could be argued that this aspect is balanced by the carefully studied representation of the psychological interaction between the two figures, which engage as father and son would, thus appealing to the viewer’s emotions too. Interestingly, a terracotta Satyr teaching his Son to play the Pipes is recorded in the posthumous inventory of the contents of Surugue’s studio, alongside other mythological figures, such as Bacchante standing next to a Tree-Trunk, Venus breastfeeding Cupid, and Bacchante with Two Children, all in terracotta, and The Death of Adonis and Hercules and Omphale in wax (Catalogue de la vente après décès de Madame Le Paon, de M. Surugue sculpteur, et d’un amateur des Pays-Bas, Paris, 8–9 May 1788). Another terracotta model of the present subject is in the Château de La Celle Saint-Cloud, west of Paris, belonging to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. related literature A. Lombard-Jourdan, ‘La Vierge à l’Enfant du cloître de Saint-Denis. Une statue inédite de Pierre Surugue (1781)’, Bulletin Monumental, 142, no. 2, 1984, pp. 173–85





johan tobias sergel (1740–1814)


Priapus Herm, c. 1775–80 Terracotta 13 ½ in. (34.5 cm) high

This lively terracotta representation of Priapus, Greco-Roman god of fertility, is modelled with the vivid, impressionistic handling characteristic of Johan Tobias Sergel, arguably the greatest Swedish sculptor and draughtsman of the eighteenth century. The subject – as is often the case with Sergel’s early production – is inspired by ancient models, which traditionally depicted Priapus as a bearded man of grotesque appearance with an erect phallus. Born in Stockholm to a successful saddler and gold-embroiderer from Saxony, Johan Tobias Sergel began his training under the Swedish royal surveyor Jean Eric Rehn and the ornamental sculptor Adrien Masreliez. Highly gifted, in 1756 he became a pupil of the French master Pierre Hubert l’Archevêque (1721–1778), then court sculptor in Stockholm, whom Sergel was allowed to accompany on a seven-month visit to Paris in 1758. There, Sergel attended courses at the celebrated Académie Royale and, significantly, met the comte de Caylus (1692–1765) and the sculptor Edmé Bouchardon (1698–1762), foremost exponents of the antiquarian movement. Upon their return to Stockholm the young artist continued working alongside l’Archevêque until, in 1767, he was granted a scholarship to travel to Italy, where he remained until 1778. That year he was summoned back to Sweden by King Gustav III, but, on his way back, Sergel stopped in Paris, where he was admitted to the Académie Royale thanks to an acclaimed portrayal of The Death of the Spartan Othryades in January 1779. Having finally returned to Stockholm in

fig. 1 Johan Tobias Sergel Centaur abducting a Bacchante, c. 1770–75 Pencil, pen and ink and brown wash on paper Nationalmuseum, Stockholm



fig. 2 Johan Tobias Sergel Venus and Anchises, c. 1775 Terracotta Nationalmuseum, Stockholm fig. 3 Johan Tobias Sergel Centaur abducting a Bacchante, c. 1775–78 Terracotta Musée du Louvre, Paris


the summer of 1779, Sergel focused his career on official portraiture, creating one of the most impressive collections of bust and medallion effigies of the period. In Rome, Sergel had been overwhelmed by the richness and splendour of the city’s heritage, which soon led him to explore an artistic vocabulary that exceeded the boundaries of his French Rococo training, one that recognized “there was no master to follow other than Antiquity or Nature”, as the artist himself once explained in a letter. Faithful to this principle, Sergel systematically set out to study Rome’s antiquities by day and its environs by night, as documented in his several sketchbooks. The present terracotta, inspired by antiquity yet animated with the life-force Sergel would have encountered during his nocturnal perambulations through the Eternal City, is emblematic of the artist’s distinctive style. Representative of Sergel’s hand are the impressionistic, deeply modelled quality of the clay, as visible in the rounded locks of hair in the figure’s beard and deep folds in the drapery, and Priapus’s subtly caricatural features, which find parallels in the humorous figures that repeatedly appear in Sergel’s works on paper. A case in point is the drawing of a Centaur abducting a Bacchante in Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum, in which the male figure presents elongated ears and a grinning expression very similar to the present Priapus (fig. 1). Comparable examples within Sergel’s terracotta production include Venus and Anchises (c. 1770–75, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; fig. 2), A Centaur abducting a Bacchante (c. 1775–78, Musée du Louvre, Paris; fig. 3), and the study for the aforementioned The Death of the Spartan Othryades (c. 1778–79, Musée du Louvre), all of which are modelled with the fresh incisions, immediacy of touch and selfconfidence also discernible in our sculpture. These similarities would suggest dating our terracotta to the second half of the 1770s, either in Rome or in Paris. Further elements associating our terracotta with Sergel’s oeuvre are a pencil and wash drawing known as Herm of a Satyr by the master now in the Musée du Louvre (fig. 4), which presents the same features as our Priapus, and a marble


fig. 4 Johan Tobias Sergel Herm of a Satyr, c. 1770–75 Pencil and brown wash on paper Musée du Louvre, Paris fig. 5 Johan Tobias Sergel Nymph at the Bath, c. 1775 Plaster Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

relief depicting a nymph at her bath (Musée du Louvre), for which a preparatory plaster also exists (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; fig. 5), in which a priapic figure, clad in a cloak in a manner identical to the present one, appears.

related literature P. Bjurström et al., Johan Tobias Sergel, 1740–1814, exh. cat., Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, 22 May–21 September 1975, Munich, 1975 U. Cederlöf, Sergel, exh. cat., Nationalmuseum Stockholm, 1990 M. Olaussen, Nouvelles acquisitions du département des Sculptures 1992–1995, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1996, pp. 83–86 L’Esprit créateur de Pigalle à Canova. Terre-cuites européennes 1740–1840, exh. cat., ed. J.D. Draper and G. Scherf, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2004, pp. 181–87



franco-flemish, 18th century


A Pair of Recumbent Lions with Armorial Shields Terracotta 6 ¾ in. (17 cm) high 9 ½ in. (25 cm) wide Bearing a monogram: D A or A D

This characterful pair of lions sit recumbent presenting shields, one of which bears the monogram ‘D A’ or ‘A D’. This is the cipher perhaps of a great European dynasty, or of a proud artist, although the former seems more likely, especially if one entertains the idea that they were made as models for a pair of bronze, heraldic chenets or andirons, for an elaborate fireplace of a palatial residence. However, this pair of lions was most likely made as models for two monumental sculptures, perhaps located either side of a grand staircase. Lions have been depicted in world art since the earliest times, to the extent that one wonders whether the first impulse to make visual art by early man was indeed born out of the desire to record and celebrate encounters with these astonishing beasts, as demonstrated by the Paleolithic paintings of lions at the Chauvet caves. Due to the frequency of their representation in art since these times, lions have become animals rich with complex symbolism and allegorical associations. In classical mythology they were associated with Hercules, Milo of Croton and Cybele, and in Christianity Samson, David, Daniel, Saint Mark, Saint Jerome, Saint Adrian, Saint Euphemia and Saint Thecla. Lions have also been used to represent the virtue of Fortitude and regal power and sometimes as an iconographic shorthand for the emotions of wrath and pride.



joseph nollekens, r.a. (1737–1823)


Apollo Terracotta 7 in. (17.5 cm) high provenance ‘Catalogue of the whole of the Highly Valuable collection of Antique and Modern Sculpture of the late Joseph Nollekins, Esq., R.A. Dec[eased], sold by Mr Christie on Thursday 3 July 1823’, no. 67, “a small model of Apollo” John Lowry-Corry, 8th Earl Belmore, Castle Coole, Enniskillen, UK exhibited Possibly exhibited at the Society of Artists, 1761, as “A Statue of the Young Bacchus” On loan to Victoria and Albert Museum, 1944

This exquisite model of Apollo is by the great English Neoclassical sculptor Joseph Nollekens, R.A., and was sold by Mr Christie at the artist’s posthumous sale in July 1823. This small-scale “bozetto” appears as no. 67, “a small model of Apollo”, in the ‘Catalogue of the whole of the Highly Valuable Collection of Antique and Modern Sculpture of the late Joseph Nollekins, Esq., R.A.’. Around 1944 it was lent to the Victoria and Albert Museum (A.10–1944). Son of an immigrant genre-painter from Antwerp, Nollekens was apprenticed in 1750 to Peter Scheemakers II. He studied in the Duke of Richmond’s gallery of casts in Whitehall and won prizes at the Society of Arts that enabled him to go to Rome in 1762. There he soon found work restoring ancient sculpture in the studio of Cavaceppi. On his own account he began to make portrait busts of English Grand Tourists. He was back in London before New Year 1771 and became a full Royal Academician in 1772. Nollekens claim to fame lies in his portraiture: the most successful and prolific portrait-sculptor between Roubiliac and Chantrey, his work created a popular demand among the political, landed and professional classes, his patrons numbering nearly two hundred in all. He was an early proponent in England of Neoclassicism, beginning with his earliest busts made in Rome, for example of David Garrick (1764; Althorp) or Lawrence Sterne (1766, National Portrait Gallery, London), while his busts of Charles James Fox and William Pitt became their standard images and were replicated many times. “Nollekens early distinguished himself as a modeller,” wrote Mrs Esdaile in 1944, “for in 1759, at the age of eighteen, he won a premium from the newly formed Society of Arts of 15 guineas ‘for a model in clay of figures’, for another one of 30 guineas, and another for ‘a model in clay of a dancing faun’ ten guineas.” “His recipe for good modelling”, continues Esdaile, was “Model more with your thumbs, thumb it about till you get it into shape.” One or more of such models appeared in the Royal Academy almost every year from 1771 to 1805, after which he showed only busts. Nine are now housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum.





fig. 1 Mary Moser Joseph Nollekens, c. 1770–71 Oil on canvas, 63.5 × 48.3 cm Yale Center for British Art

According to J.T. Smith (I, p. 347), Nollekens’s biographer, terracotta was the medium which he took the greatest delight in working with: The greatest pleasure our Sculptor ever received was when modelling small figures in clay, either singly or in groups, which he had baked; and in consequence of his refusing to sell them – though by his will he ordered them to be sold – and giving very few away, they became so extremely numerous that they not only afforded a great display of his industry, but considerable entertainment to his friends. It is therefore apt that, for an early portrait by Mary Moser, Nollekens should choose to be shown in the act of modelling and that the subject on his modellingstool (a turn-table) should be classical, a faun, indeed one very like the present figure (fig. 1). dr charles avery

related literature J.T. Smith, Nollekens and his Times (1838), ed. W. Whitten, London and New York, 1920 K.A. Esdaile, ‘A group of terracotta models by Joseph Nollekens, R.A.’, The Burlington Magazine, LXXXV, September 1944, pp. 220–23, no. 5, pl. II, B D. Bilbey with M. Trusted, British Sculpture 1470–2000: A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2002, pp. 95–107, esp. nos. 138–46


french, 1742


Hermes fastening his Sandal, also known as Cincinnatus Terracotta 12 ½ in. (31.5 cm) high Monogrammed and dated AF 1742 on the base

fig. 1 Roman Hermes fastening his Sandal, known as Cincinnatus, 2nd century ad Marble Musée du Louvre, Paris


In 1686, following an unprecedented struggle between Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi (1611–1689) and the Sun King Louis XIV (1638–1715), two ancient marble statues were installed at Versailles, the French monarch’s resplendent new residence west of Paris. They were known as Cincinnatus and Germanicus, after the heroes of Roman tradition they were thought to represent, and they came from the prestigious collection of Prince Savelli at Villa Peretti Montalto in Rome. Intent on fashioning his reign as a revival of the power and magnificence of ancient Rome, the Sun King had for years actively sought to create a collection of antiquities that could rival those of the great palaces of Rome. In 1685, when the opportunity to acquire two of the most admired statues from antiquity arose, Louis immediately seized upon it, but he initially encountered fierce opposition from the Pope, who was averse to the dispersal of the Eternal City’s collections. In the end, the Sun King prevailed and the Cincinnatus (fig. 1) and Germanicus reached Versailles, to great acclaim. For more than a century, they would be the only major antiquities from Rome to enter France. The vicissitudes of Cincinnatus’s and Germanicus’s arrival into Versailles give us a measure of the resonance these statues would have had on France’s artistic tradition, which, since the reign of François I (1494–1547), had held antiquity in pride of place. Specifically, the example of ancient Greek and Roman masters was considered fundamental to the training of aspiring artists, so that copying their work – be it on paper or canvas, in terracotta or marble – came to form an essential part of the curriculum at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. The school had been established in Paris in 1648 under the aegis of King Louis XIV, and it is within its walls that the origins of the present terracotta are to be traced. Monogrammed ‘AF’ and dated 1742, our Cincinnatus represents an uncommonly well preserved and exquisitely modelled example of the type of composition after ancient prototypes that young sculptors were asked to submit as part of their academic curriculum. The subject’s connection with Versailles, where the ancient Roman Cincinnatus was housed until 1792, is all the more significant when we consider that by the mid eighteenth century it was customary for sculptors applying to study at the French Academy in Rome to exhibit models after the Antique in terracotta in the royal apartments at Versailles. Finished with attention to surface detail and an accomplished understanding of human anatomy, the present terracotta is at once an homage to the Académie’s tradition and a demonstration of individual talent. Indeed our sculptor did not copy his model outright, instead choosing to steer away from the more sternly





fig. 2 Christophe-Gabriel Allegrain La Baigneuse, 1767 Marble Musée du Louvre, Paris

classicizing traits of the marble Cincinnatus in favour of a handling of surface and subject-matter that evokes a greater sense of movement. Departures from the original, such as the different positioning of the figure’s hands and the more dramatic arrangement of the drapery across the right leg, suggest that our artist actively sought to improve on his starting-point, responding to his own artistic sensibility. Interestingly, the Versailles Cincinnatus proved the inspiration for one of the most acclaimed sculptures of eighteenth-century France, ChristopheGabriel Allegrain’s Baigneuse (1767; fig. 2), a life-size representation of Venus about to bathe whose pose closely mirrors that of the Roman hero. The marble Cincinnatus, today considered to be a second-century ad Roman copy after a Hellenistic original, was certainly known in Rome by the end of the sixteenth century, when it was illustrated by de’ Cavalieri in his Antiquarum statuarum urbis Romae (III/IV, 1594, pl. 91). The statue’s identification with Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, a Roman statesman of the Republican era, derives from the figure’s pose. Having retired to live in the country, one day Cincinnatus was called upon by the Senate to serve the Republic once again in a time of great need. A paragon of rectitude and patriotism, Cincinnatus, having abandoned his plough, followed the Senate’s delegation. The plough that appears in the ancient marble, however, was added after its excavation in the sixteenth century, which casts doubt on the identification with Cincinnatus. To the eminent art historians Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768) and Ennio Quirino Visconti (1751–1818) the statue represented the Greek mythological hero Jason, who, in the Argonautica, is described as wearing only one sandal. Later scholarship has instead identified the figure with the god Hermes, messenger of the gods, caught fastening one of his sandals. The seventeenth-century interpretation remains important in the light of the cultural and political significance of the figure of Cincinnatus, an exemplary ruler, whom the Sun King would have appreciated drawing a connection with.

related literature F. Haskell and N. Penny, Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500–1900, New Haven and London, 1981, pp. 37–42 and 182–84 L’Esprit créateur de Pigalle à Canova. Terre-cuites européennes 1740–1840, exh. cat., ed. J.D. Draper and G. Scherf, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2004, pp. 80 and 107–08



philippe-laurent roland (1746–1816), attributed to


Portrait of a Gentleman, c. 1789–99 Terracotta 21 in. (53.5 cm) high 13 ¾ in. (35 cm) wide provenance Private collection, France

Philippe-Laurent Roland was born in Pont-à-Marcq, a village in northern France, in 1746. He received his first training as an artist at the École de Dessin in the nearby town of Lille, after which he moved to Paris, where, in 1764, he entered the workshop of the preeminent sculptor Augustin Pajou (1730–1809). There, Roland learned the art of marble carving, while also assisting in the realization of important decorative cycles, such as the limestone reliefs for the Palais Royal (1767–69), ordered by the duc d’Orléans, and the wood and stucco ornaments for the royal Opera at Versailles (1768–70). As befitted the career of a young artist at the time, around 1771 Roland travelled to Italy, where he settled in Rome, dedicating himself to the study of the ancient and modern masters. It is interesting to note that, differently from many of his peers, Roland did not seek a bursary from the Académie de Rome, but autonomously financed his Italian stay, thus ensuring he would have complete independence in his work, a bold move that certainly speaks of his confidence and ambition as an artist. A rare work dating to Roland’s years in the Eternal City is the beautifully observed Sleeping Boy in terracotta now in New York’s Metropolitan Museum. Endowed with a heightened sense of realism, it is modelled with the freshness and ease in capturing human emotion characteristic of Roland. Roland’s pupil and biographer, the sculptor Pierre-Jean David d’Angers (1788–1856), tells us that his master spent five years in Rome, at the end of which he returned to Paris, where he resumed collaborating with Pajou. In 1782 Roland was accepted into the Académie Royale thanks to a plaster composition of The Death of Cato of Utica. He never presented the Académie with the mandatory marble for his morceau de réception, but his work for private patrons continued apace, and with it grew his reputation. As noted by James Draper, Roland’s early success was due as much to his own skill as to the intervention of the benevolent Pajou, who seems to have steered many commissions in the direction of his former pupil (Draper 1992, p. 133). In 1784, Pajou also obtained for Roland a studio in the Louvre, and in the same year the architect Pierre Rousseau, who was married to Roland’s wife’s sister, was most likely instrumental in helping Roland take on work at the royal estate of Fontainebleau, where he executed a gilt-lead fountain for the king’s apartments, and in 1786 a marble chimneypiece for the king, alongside plaster overdoors for the queen’s gaming room and for her boudoir (Draper 1992, p. 136).





By that time, Roland had already been employed in the decorations for the Château de Bagatelle, in the Bois de Boulogne, the residence of the young comte d’Artois, future King Charles X of France (reigned 1824–30). The Château survives to this day, and, whilst its original decoration is partially lost, a plaster overdoor from the building can today be admired in New York’s Metropolitan Museum. Starting in the 1780s, portraiture begins to appear more prominently in Roland’s work. For example, at the Salon of 1783 he presented two “bustes d’étude”, and in the same period he realized four marble portrait medallions for the Halle au Blé, the grain market at Les Halles in Paris. A marble medallion of Louis XVI, signed by Roland and dated 1787, now in the Metropolitan Museum, offers an example of the type of work our artist executed for the Halle au Blé (for which the 1787 relief was likely also intended; see Draper 1992, p. 138). The Metropolitan Museum also owns Roland’s wonderful self-portrait in marble, dated to c. 1785, the terracotta of which is today in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Both busts display Roland’s remarkable ability as a sculptor, in technique as much as in expressive quality. The artist’s gaze is directed selfassuredly in the distance, while his lips are crisply pursed and his chin held perfectly perpendicular to the line of his neck. Overall, Roland appears to take pride in the realism of his sharp features, which he presents to the viewer without any flourish. Following the onset of the French Revolution in 1789, Roland retained his position as an established sculptor, receiving numerous commissions from the new government. In 1793, he executed representations of Law and Legislation for the peristyle of the Panthéon in Paris. Two years later he became a member of the newly founded Institut de France, and was made professor at the École des Beaux-Arts. His success continued under Napoleon. He was awarded the prestigious Legion d’Honneur, and received important public commissions such as the bust of Admiral Ruyter for the Galerie des Consuls at the Tuileries (1801), and that of Bonaparte for the Institut de France in 1810. Roland’s work under the Empire also encompassed marble sculptures of grand scale, such as the JeanJacques Régis de Cambacérès at the Château de Versailles (1810) and the Homer now in the Louvre (1812). He exhibited at the Louvre Salons until 1814, having begun doing so in 1783, and died at his Parisian home in the rue de Sorbonne on 11 July 1816. The present bust portrays a man of youthful appearance, dressed in an elegant yet unaffected manner, who, with an air of subtle trepidation, turns his gaze away from the viewer. His eyes are fixed in the distance and his lips delicately parted, as if he were about to speak. The sensitively captured vitality of the sitter, the suggestion of his mind’s thoughts, are rendered by Roland with impeccable technical skill. The surface displays a crisp yet feathery quality that conveys a sense of immediacy arguably parallel to that of a painting. Facial features are described with the utmost attention to naturalistic detail while simultaneously retaining a sense of motion, evident in the outline of the thick brows, wavy hair, alert eyes and parted lips. In the same way, the splendidly rendered lace of the sitter’s cravat is at once a feat of meticulous modelling and one of pushing the static boundaries of sculpture.


fig. 1 Philippe-Laurent Roland Self-portrait, c. 1785 Terracotta Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge fig. 2 Philippe-Laurent Roland Augustin Pajou, 1797 Terracotta Musée du Louvre, Paris fig. 3 Philippe-Laurent Roland Denis Sébastien Leroy, c. 1796–97 Terracotta Musée du Louvre, Paris

In its confident handling of the medium and in its fine expressive quality, our bust bears close resemblance to Roland’s Self-portrait now in Cambridge (c. 1785; fig. 1), to his Portrait of Augustin Pajou (1797; fig. 2) in the Louvre and to his Portrait of Denis Sébastien Leroy (c. 1796–97; fig. 3) in the same museum. All three executed in terracotta, they display the same three-quarter positioning of the sitter’s head and fleeting sense of movement of the present work. Parallels extend to details such as the gentle curling of the edges of the mouth, the deep, fleshy modelling of the brows and the deeply outlined silhouettes of the eyes. In the case of Pajou and Leroy, the busts are also cut in a shape very similar to the present one, narrowing down from the shoulders to the middle of the chest, their otherwise regular format enlivened by the broad, asymmetrical collars and lapels of the sitters’ coats. In terms of dating, the correlation between our bust and the three abovementioned portraits suggest they belong to the same period in Roland’s career, towards the last decade of the eighteenth century. In addition, the spirited quality of our likeness, together with its lack of clear signifiers of social status, suggests a date after the fall of the ancien régime and before the start of Napoleon’s rule, which brought about new conventions in portraiture. This leaves us with a very specific window of time, between 1789 and 1799, within which Roland is recorded to have presented a “Bust in terracotta” to the Salon at least in one instance, in 1795, and this may well correspond to the present work (see Lami, Dictionnaire, p. 301).

related literature S. Lami, Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l’école française au dix-huitième siècle, vol. 2, Paris, 1911, pp. 296–303 J.D. Draper, ‘Philippe-Laurent Roland in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’, The Metropolitan Museum Journal, 27, 1992 L’Esprit créateur de Pigalle à Canova. Terre-cuites européennes 1740–1840, exh. cat., ed. J.D. Draper and G. Scherf, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2004



antonio canova (1757–1822)


Character Head, c. 1780 Terracotta 3 ¼ in. (8 cm) high provenance Possibly Francesco Milizia (1725–1798), Rome literature G.L. Mellini, ‘Canoviana’, Antichità Viva, XXIX, no. 1, 1990, pp. 21–30 G.L. Mellini, Canova. Saggi di filologia e di ermeneutica, Milan, 1999, pp. 108 and 198

fig. 1 Antonio Canova Orpheus (detail), c. 1775 Stone Museo Correr, Venice


First identified by scholar Gian Lorenzo Mellini in 1990, the present terracotta constitutes a rare and fascinating addition to the corpus of Canova’s early production and is representative, in both style and subject, of the sculptor’s seminal period before the move from Venice to Rome. In 1775 Canova established his first studio in Venice, inside the cloister of the church of Santo Stefano. Until then, he had worked for the local sculptor Giuseppe Bernardi, whose figures drew on the compositional lessons of Jacopo Sansovino in Venice and of the Baroque masters in Rome. These precedents would have been well known to Canova, owing in part to the plaster casts after Bernini, Algardi, Duquesnoy and other modern masters which he is known to have avidly studied in the Canal Grande palace of Filippo Farsetti. This collection additionally included casts after antique models and a series of original terracotta bozzetti dating from the early sixteenth to the mid eighteenth century (Honour 1992, p. 34), thus offering visitors a remarkable array of diverse visual sources. The impact of the Farsetti plasters on the young Canova is clearly discernible in his most renowned Venetian works, the full-length statues of Orpheus (fig. 1) and Eurydice he executed around 1775 for Senator Falier. The pair illustrate the moment when, having tried to rescue his beloved Eurydice from Hades, Orpheus defies the gods and looks back at her too soon, thus losing her forever. The dramatic tension of the narrative is expressed by the rotating movement of each figure, by the pathos of their gestures and, most notably, by their facial features, heightened to convey a strong sense of emotion. A similarly corrugated brow and grimacing, downturned mouth to the Orpheus appear in the present Character Head, suggesting, as Mellini observed, a close connection between the two works, which betray Canova’s preoccupation with the representation of emotions. Interestingly, in both cases this is framed within a wider exploration of antiquity, a central theme throughout Canova’s career. Indeed the present terracotta, albeit an invenzione of the sculptor, derives from the Hellenistic group of Laocoön and his Sons (specifically the figure of the youth on the right), which had enjoyed incredible notoriety since its discovery in 1506 and of which a terracotta model existed in the collection of Filippo Farsetti (see Buranelli et al. 2006, p. 166, no. 60). As Mellini points out, in 1775 Canova had







fig. 2 Antonio Canova Medusa, 1799 Terracotta Gipsoteca, Possagno

executed another study after an antiquity – the Uffizi Wrestlers – in terracotta, a medium he favoured and employed throughout his production (Accademia, Venice). Comparison with the Falier Orpheus and the Wrestlers highlights that the expressive quality and richly, deeply modelled features and hair of the present head are characteristic of Canova’s early production, on one hand looking back at his Venetian heritage and on the other heralding the narrative skill and technical accomplishment that he would fully master in Rome. Emblematic of the connection between Canova’s more mature Roman works and earlier forays into the portrayal of emotions is the head of the Medusa from his Perseus Triumphant (Rome, Vatican Museums, 1797–1801) – individually modelled in a terracotta sketch now at the Gipsoteca in Possagno (fig. 2) – in which the structure of the face is very close to that of the present one, albeit more linear and softened. It is possible that Canova executed the present terracotta upon his arrival in the papal city, or carried it there with him, given that, as Mellini records, its provenance is most likely the collection of the Roman art theorist Francesco Milizia (1725–1798), a keen admirer of Canova.

related literature H. Honour, in Canova, exh. cat., Museo Correr, Venice, and Gipsoteca, Possagno, 1992 F. Buranelli et al., Laocoonte: alle origini dei Musei Vaticani, Rome, 2006



christopher hewetson (c. 1737–1798)


Portrait of a Lady Terracotta 18 ¾ in. (47.5 cm) high 11 in. (28 cm) wide

This masterful terracotta portrait bust of a lady, represented with her hair elegantly coiffured with silk and pearls, was modelled by the eminent Irish sculptor Christopher Hewetson. After studying in his native Kilkenny and later Dublin, Hewetson travelled to Rome in 1765, where he remained for the rest of his career. He made his name predominantly in the field of portrait sculpture and began working for powerful local patrons, such as Pope Clement XIV (whose effigy he carved repeatedly in marble from 1772), and Grand Tourists visiting the city, including Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn (in terracotta, 1769), Charles Townley (in marble, 1769), William Henry, Duke of Gloucester (in marble and terracotta, 1772). By the 1780s, Hewetson’s practice had become fully established and he received commissions from an increasing number of members of the European elite. During this period his sitters included Herr and Frau von Kniphausen (1782 –83), Gavin Hamilton (1784), Sir William Hamilton (1797), Lady Hamilton (1797), Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and 4th Earl of Bristol (1789), Empress Maria Feodorovna (1784) and Thomas Giffard of Chillington (1784). It was not unusual for such visitors to commission a portrait in marble or terracotta from Hewetson in conjunction with a portrait painted by Pompeo Batoni (1708–1787) and perhaps a profile engraved upon a cameo by Johannes Pichler (1734–1791), as the aforementioned Duke of Gloucester did. Hewetson had established a strong friendship with the English antiquities dealer Thomas Jenkins (1722–1798) and the painter Anton Rafael Mengs (1728– 1779). All three had clients in common and likely promoted each others’ works through personal recommendation. For example, Jenkins enjoyed the favour of Clement XIV as the unofficial English representative to the Holy See, and likely procured the patronage of the Pope for Hewetson. In another instance, the Spanish Ambassador Don José Nicolàs de Azara (1737–1798) had his portrait modelled by Hewetson under the direction of Mengs. This indicates that there was a large degree of collaboration between the great taste-makers and artists of Rome during this period and Hewetson enjoyed considerable success as a wellconnected leader in the contemporary Neoclassical movement. The present bust’s Irish provenance suggests it was executed by Hewetson in Rome for a visiting British Grand Tourist, who, as was often customary, commissioned her portrait while in the Eternal City and then had it shipped home as a souvenir of her travels. The fashion of the lady’s headdress, typical of the British aristocracy, indicates that her likeness was immortalized by Hewetson early in his Roman sojourn, about 1770. Comparable examples include Sir Joshua Reynolds’s portraits of Elizabeth Kerr, Marchioness of Lothian (1769,





private collection), of Mrs. Robert Mayne from 1774 to 1776 (private collection) and of Miss Sarah Campbell (1777–78; Yale Center for British Art, New Haven). Hewetson’s portrait bust of Catharine, Viscountess Sudley (private collection), which appears to be the sculptor’s earliest known Italian commission, offers the closest point of reference for the present work within the master’s oeuvre. The sitter was Irish and her likeness was carved by Hewetson between 1767, when her husband is recorded in Florence, and 1769, when Batoni painted a double portrait of the Viscountess and her consort in Rome. The bust, executed in marble, shows the noblewoman turning her head to one side while her gaze is directed pensively in the distance, a compositional solution also adopted for our terracotta portrait. In both portraits, facial features such as the eyelids and mouth are sharply defined and the hair, elaborately arranged, is described in minute detail, as characteristic of Hewetson’s surface treatment.

related literature T. Hodgkinson, ‘Christopher Hewetson, An Irish Sculptor in Rome’, The Walpole Society, vol. 34, 1952–54, pp. 42–54 A.M. Suárez Huerta, ‘Will and Inventory of Christopher Hewetson (c. 1737–1798)’, The British Art Journal, 15, no. 2, Winter 2014–15), pp. 3–17 B. de Breffny, ‘Christopher Hewetson (c. 1737–1798), Irish Arts Review, 1984–87, 3, no. 3, Autumn 1986, pp. 52–57



heinrich maximilian imhof (1798–1869)


Ruth (Study for the statue commissioned by the Crown Prince

of Württemberg, today in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart)

& Study for a Female Figure carrying a Basket Terracotta Each 11 in. (28 cm) high Signed (Ruth) on the base Imhof invt.

fig. 1 Heinrich Maximilian Imhof Ruth, 1858 Marble Staatsgalerie Stuttgart


Heinrich Maximilian Imhof was born at the turn of the nineteenth century in Bürglen, a municipality in the canton of Uri in the heart of Switzerland. He initially trained locally and under Franz Abart (1769–1863) in Kerns, subsequently moving to Zurich. Thanks to the patronage of the scholar Johann Gottfried Ebel (1764–1830) and of the Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia (1795–1861), whose bust Imhof had sculpted, in 1820 the young artist was sent to Stuttgart, to complete his apprenticeship under the sculptor Johann Heinrich Dannecker (1758–1841). Dannecker instilled in Imhof the lesson of Neoclassicism, an influence that would endure throughout his career. In 1824 Imhof travelled to Rome, where he entered the studio of Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844), who, after Antonio Canova’s death in 1822, was arguably held to be the greatest living sculptor in the Eternal City. Thanks to the exhibitions organized by the thriving community of foreign artists in the city, Imhof was gradually introduced to a circle of prominent international patrons, who included the Crown Prince of Prussia (later Friedrich Wilhelm IV), his early supporter; Ludwig I, King of Bavaria (1786–1868); Tsar Nicholas I of Russia (1796–1855); and Otto, King of Greece (1815–1867), who employed Imhof in Athens from 1836 to 1838, as professor at the Academy of Arts and to restore excavated antiquities. In Rome, where he resided until his death in 1869, Imhof focused his activity on large-scale marble compositions, a practice he had perfected under Thorvaldsen. Examples included a David and Goliath and an Eros and Psyche for Friedrich Wilhelm IV, a colossal bust of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria for Ludwig I, and a Hagar and Ishmael that was donated to the Kunstgesellschaft in Bern. This last, executed in 1845, was part of a group of statues after Old Testament subjects to which Imhof dedicated himself from about 1840, and to which the present terracotta bozzetti belong. Modelled with a fresh, confident touch, the figures are outlined with rapid, deep strokes that beautifully render details such as drapery folds and hair. The faces, drawn with smooth, regular features, prefigure the polished, classicizing quality of Imhof ’s marble surfaces. Ruth – a figure held up in the Old Testament as an example of loyalty and obedience to the law of God – is a preparatory study for a marble statue now in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (162 cm high; fig. 1), commissioned from Imhof in


1858 by Karl Friedrich Alexander, Crown Prince of Württemberg (1823–1891). In both compositions, the biblical heroine is portrayed holding sheaves of wheat, tilting her head to one side and wearing a headscarf. The dress is of similar shape, although in the marble Imhof altered the fall of the drapery and also inverted the position of Ruth’s feet, switching from the contrapposto pose of the bozzetto to a different distribution of the weight. The terracotta is signed, which, together with its close resemblance to the final marble, suggests Imhof may have presented it to his patron for approval. The second figure, represented holding a woven basket on her head, is reminiscent of the female characters that appear in depictions of the Israelites gathering manna, another Old Testament subject. No marble composition of this theme by Imhof is known, but the figure’s pose closely resembles that of a statue of Rebecca – the wife of Isaac, one of the three Patriarchs of the Covenant in the Old Testament – recorded in three versions, the first from 1841, of which only the last, from 1867, is known today (Kunstmuseum Basel, 170 cm high; fig. 2). This suggests that Imhof may have initially modelled our terracotta as a figure study, subsequently adopting it for his depiction of Rebecca, who is traditionally represented holding a water vessel on her head or shoulder. fig. 2 Heinrich Maximilian Imhof Rebecca, 1867 Marble Kunstmuseum Basel


related literature K. Iten, Heinrich Max Imhof 1795–1869, Ein Urner Bildhauer in Rom, Altdorf, 1995


‌ modelling in clay is to the sculptor what drawing on paper is to the painter. For as the first gush of the grape-juice from the press forms the finest wine, so in the soft material, and on paper, the genius of the artist is seen in its utmost purity and truth; whilst, on the contrary, it is concealed beneath the industry and the polish required in a finished painting or a completed statue ‌. The experience of modern days shows that this esteem for works in clay was well deserved.

Johann Joachim Winckelmann, The History of Ancient Art, translated from the German by G. Henry Lodge, Boston, 1880, I, p. 144

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