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SUPERBE DESSIN D'ARCHITECTURE, d'une perspective rigoureuse et exécuté avec beaucoup de soin. Relevé anonyme, précis et détaillé de cette chapelle construite d'après un projet d'Antonio Lombardo (c. 1458-1516). Riche décor funéraire destiné à Giovanni Battista Zeno (1539/40-1601), cardinal de Vicenza, empoisonné à Padoue.Arenberg Auctions
after a Greek original of the 4th Century B.C. by Lysippos or a contemporary sculptor of the 2nd half of the 4th Century B.C., from an over-lifesize figure turned to his left and looking down, his face with outlined lips formerly overlaid in copper, straight nose merging into the prominent brow, and wide-set hollow eyes, the ancient inlays missing, his hair radiating from the crown in vigorously rendered whorls of voluted overlapping curls and brushed up above the forehead in short overlapping locks, the interior flange behind the chin for attachment to the separately cast body of the ancient statue. after a Greek original of the 4th Century B.C. by Lysippos or a contemporary sculptor of the 2nd half of the 4th Century B.C., from an over-lifesize figure turned to his left and looking down, his face with outlined lips formerly overlaid in copper, straight nose merging into the prominent brow, and wide-set hollow eyes, the ancient inlays missing, his hair radiating from the crown in vigorously rendered whorls of voluted overlapping curls and brushed up above the forehead in short overlapping locks, the interior flange behind the chin for attachment to the separately cast body of the ancient statue. Height 11A in. (29.9 cm.) The head is sold together with bronze shoulders created for it in Renaissance Italy. Provenance: Senator Bernardo Nani (1712-1761), Venice Collection of Lucien Guiraud (Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Collection Lucien Guiraud, Tableaux Modernes, Dessins Anciens, Objets d'Art et de Bel Ameublement, June 14th and 15th, 1956, no. 106, illus. (as 16th Century) Hans Calmann (1899-1982), London and Somerset Published: Paolo M. Paciaudi, Monumenta Peloponnesiaca commentariis explicata a Paullo M Paciaudo, 2, Rome, 1761, pp. 47 and 69, fig. 211 (engraving by B. Bartolotti) Otto Benndorf, Forschungen in Ephesos I, Vienna, 1906, pp. 192ff. G. Lippold, Kopien und Umbildungen griechischer Statuen, Munich, 1923, p. 127 Mary B. Comstock and Cornelius C. Vermeule, Sculpture in Stone, The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 1976, p. 100 Andrew F. Stewart, "Lysippan Studies 3. Not by Daidalos?," American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 82, no. 4, 1978, pp. 475 and 476 Kurt Gschwantler, "Der Athlet von Ephesos, Ein Projekt zur Restaurierung und Konservierung der Bronzestatue," Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien, vol. 91, 1995, figs. 211 (engraving by Bartolotti) and 212 (photograph from Hôtel Drouot), and p. 293 (as 16th/17th Century) The engraving and photograph mentioned in the above references show the head upon its Renaissance bronze shoulders. For other known copies and close variants of the Greek original compare the fine marble statue in Florence, known at least since the 16th Century and incorrectly restored as holding a pitcher rather than a strigil (Guido A. Mansuelli, Galleria degli Uffizi: Le Sculture I, Rome, 1968, no. 36); the bronze figure found at Ephesos in 1896 (Kurt Gschwantler, op. cit., figs. 205-210); a marble head in the Hermitage (Oskar Waldhauer, Die Antiken Sculpturen der Hermitage II, Berlin and Leipzig, 1931, no. 140, and Dorothea Arnold, "Der Polykletnachfolge," JdI-EH 25, Berlin, 1969, pl. 132a); a small marble statue in Boston found below the Villa Mondragone at Frascati in 1896 (Mary B. Comstock and Cornelius C. Vermeule, op. cit., no. 155); a marble head in Rome (C. L. Visconti, Les Monuments de Sculpture Antique du MusEe Torlonia, Paris, 1883, no. 86, pl. 22); a magnificent black schist torso at Castelgandolfo, found between 1930 and 1932 during work in the gardens of the papal villa (P. Liverani, L'Antiquarium di Villa Barberini a Castelgandolfo, 1989, pp. 59ff., no. 22, fig. 22.1-4); and a bronze statue found very recently in the Adriatic Sea off the Croatian island of Veli Losinj at a depth of 160 feet, the photographs showing it lying partially revealed on the sea bed (Antike Welt, Zeitschrift für Archäologie und Kulturgeschichte 30, Mainz, 1999, pp. 357-359, figs. 2-7). The complete bronze figure for which this head was separately cast showed the young athlete after a competition looking down and concentrating on cleaning his strigil (the curved instrument used by Greek athletes, in combination with olive oil, to scrape dust from their bodies). There are several other copies after the Greek original, of which the bronze statue from Ephesos--now in Vienna--is perhaps the best known. Cornelius C. Vermeule (Sculpture in Stone, op. cit., p. 100) notes that certain "modern critics have seen this athlete as a work of a follower of Polykleitos, perhaps his presumed grandson Daidalos, while others have identified the figure as an early work of Lysippos. If the latter supposition is true, this statue's original in bronze may be the true Apoxyomenos of Lysippos, for the type was obviously far more popular than that of the celebrated marble from Trastevere in the Vatican." Lysippos, active between 360 and 315 B.C., was, in addition to being an extraordinarily prolific sculptor in bronze, the court portraitist to Alexander the Great, and his fame equalled that of his near contemporary Praxiteles. Pliny states that: "Lysippos made... a youth scraping himself with a strigil [the Apoxyomenos] which Marcus Agrippa dedicated in front of his baths, a work amazingly pleasing to the Emperor Tiberius. He was, in fact, unable to restrain himself in its case... and had it moved to his own bedroom, substituting another statue in its place. When, however, the indignation of the Roman people became so great that they demanded, by an uproar in the theatre, that the Apoxyomenos be replaced, the Emperor, even though he had fallen in love with it, put it back... " (Carol C. Mattusch, The Fire of Hephaistos, Large Classical Bronzes from North American Collections, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1996, p. 29) For the distinctive manner in which the head is cast, with a flange or ledge behind the chin, see Mattusch, op. cit., no. 27, the bronze statue of Hypnos in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Collection. The author notes that this ledge, and another on the top of the neck, would improve the join between the head and the separately cast body. The collection of Senator Bernardo Nani and his family, housed in a museum at San Trovaso, was the largest collection of antiquities in Venice in the 2nd half of the 18th Century. See M. Zorzi, Collezioni di Antichit 1/2 a Venezia nei secoli della Repubblica, Rome, 1988, pp. 137-144. The accompanying bronze shoulders, a thick-walled cast, are robustly chased and draped in a similar fashion to those executed in northern Italy by the mid 16th Century, and, like the complete figure to which the head was joined in antiquity, the join between the head and neck is skillfully disguised (although the correct angle was not understood). The workmanship of the crisp and deliberate folds of drapery fastened at the shoulder with a finely tooled morse bears a close affinity to that of the Lombardo family, an important dynasty of Venetian sculptors. The Lombardo family was led by Pietro (1435-1515), who pioneered the Renaissance style, and was quickly followed by his sons Antonio (1458-1516) and Tullio (1455-1532). Antonio Lombardo's characteristic manner and profoundly neoclassical ideals dominated the sculpture of the Venetian High Renaissance. For a bronze bust of a Roman with a closely related pattern of drapery and overall treatment of the material cf. Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections, no. 134, a bust of a Roman by Antonio Lombardo's son Ludovico (1509-1575). Estimate on Request.Sotheby's
BY ANTONIO LOMBARDO (CIRCA 1458-1516), EARLY 16TH CENTURY Inscribed along the lower front edge 'PVNICA SVM...XI QVAE MOENIA BYRSA'. Several chips, especially to the lower front edge; one toe from the left foot lacking; the right arm repaired. 19.5/8 in. (49.8 cm.) high PROVENANCE Possibly Camerino d'Alabastro, Ducal Palace, Ferrara. Private collection, England; Dorchester, Henry Duke & Son, 30 June 1988. LITERATURE COMPARATIVE LITERATURE: E. Molinier, La Collection Spitzer, Paris, 1892, IV, pp. 100-102, no. 10, pls. II, III. J. Pope-Hennessy, Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1964, I, pp. 353-357. C. Hope, 'The 'Camerino d'Alabastro' of Alfonso I d'Este', The Burlington Magazine, CXIII, 1971, pp. 641-650, 712-721. D. Goodgal, 'Camerino d'Alabastro of Alfonso I d'Este', Art History, I, 1978, pp. 162-190. London, Royal Academy of Arts, The Genius of Venice 1500-1600, 25 Nov. 1983 - 11 Mar. 1984, no. S8, p. 364 (entry by B. Boucher and A. Radcliffe). NOTES Virgil relates how Dido, legendary founder and Queen of Carthage, became enamoured of the Trojan prince Aeneas when he washed up on her shores. The passion was engendered by Venus, and ended in tragedy as Aeneas was destined to leave Carthage and continue his journey. As his ships sailed off, Dido ran herself through with Aeneas' sword and cast herself on a funeral pyre. The scene represented here is from earlier in Dido's history, and relates to the founding of Carthage itself. According to legend, when Dido arrived in North Africa she asked the local ruler, King Iarbas, if she could buy some land. Reluctant to do so, Iarbas agreed to sell her only as much as could be covered with a bull's hide. Dido cunningly cut the hide into thin strips and tied them together so that it encompassed enough land to build the city of Carthage. The legend no doubt arose because the Greek word 'byrsa' meaning bull's hide, is so similar to 'Bosra', the Phoenician name for Carthage. Dido is represented here with a stretched bull's hide beside her and an inscription below which has been convincingly reconstructed as 'I am Dido the Carthaginian woman, who erected the walls called Byrsa.' Antonio Lombardo, a member of an extraordinary family of sculptors active in Venice in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, was court sculptor to Alfonso I d'Este at Ferrara from 1506 until his death in 1516. Exactly what Antonio executed for Alfonso, and its original location within the ducal palace is far from easy to establish. However, a series of 28 reliefs now in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg are clearly from Ferrara, and three of them bear inscriptions with Alfonso's name, in one case in conjunction with the date '1508' (Molinier, loc. cit. ). Recent research has tended to suggest that these reliefs, some of which are figurative, others of which are ornamental, were divided between Alfonso's 'Studio di Marmo', and the more celebrated 'Camerino d'Alabastro' (Hope, Goodgal, locs. cit. ), which also contained paintings by Giovanni Bellini, Titian, and Dosso Dossi. The attribution of the present marble to Lombardo is based on its clear relationship to a number of reliefs of similar subjects which are today scattered throughout the world, including the Hermitage series mentioned above, as well as two others pictured overleaf. Perhaps the most compelling comparison is with the relief of Mars in the Galleria Estense, Modena (fig. 1). Among the many obvious stylistic similarities, the proportionally large head of each figure, and the dramatic diagonals created in the backgrounds of both reliefs are highly distinctive. As John Pope-Hennessy points out ( loc. cit. ), there is no absolute proof that the majority of the marble reliefs in this large group, apart from those in St. Petersburg, once formed part of the decoration at Alfonso I's palace at Ferrara. There are, however, cogent reasons for believing that some of them - including the present relief - did. The decoration of the 'Studio di Marmo' was executed from 1508-1511, and combined marble reliefs, whose precise meaning remains opaque, with ornamental panels, some of which bear Stoic inscriptions. By contrast, the paintings known to have adorned the 'Camerino d'Alabastro', probably already finished by 1508 (Hope, op. cit., p. 646), celebrate the joys associated with Bacchus and Venus. Three other extant reliefs can be related to the present one on the basis of iconography. They represent Euridyce, Portia, and Lucrezia. Along with Dido, they represent famous women of antiquity whose love remained true unto death. When bearing in mind that Alfonso's wife was also Lucrezia (Borgia) it becomes apparent that these four reliefs are particularly suitable candidates for inclusion in the decorative scheme of the celebrated Camerino.Christie's