Francesco Bertos, Italian (1678-1741) A bronze group of 'Intellect carving Truth'
Lot 9
Francesco Bertos, Italian (1678-1741) A bronze group of 'Intellect carving Truth'
Sold for £14,400 (US$ 24,203) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Francesco Bertos, Italian (1678-1741)
A bronze group of 'Intellect carving Truth'
a nearly naked sculptor with his right arm raised (hand and mallet missing) to carve a recumbent female figure with a radiant sun on her chest,
20cm high, 21cm wide (8" high, 8 1/4" wide)


  • Provenance:
    With Anthony Embden, Paris, 2003.

    Comparative Literature:
    W.L. Hildburgh, Apollo vol. XXVII, 1938, Some Bronze Groups by Francesco Bertos (illustrated fig.IV); Rosario Coppel de Areizaga, Catálogo de la Escultura de Época Moderna, Siglos XVI-XVIII, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1998, no. 30; Jefferson C. Harrison, The Chrysler Museum, Handbook of the European and American Collections - Selected Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings, pp. 64 & 65, no 49; C. Avery, The Triumph of Motion: Francesco Bertos and the Art of Sculpture, Turin, 2008, cat. no. 130 [in the press]

    The principal figure and the statue he is carving are an excerpt from one of Bertos’s larger, conical, compositions entitled Sculpture, Arithmetic, Architecture, of which there are casts in the Museo del Prado, Madrid; The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia; and The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (see literature above, and esp. Avery, cat. nos. 108, 112, 116).

    The identities of these figures are derived from a description of a lost marble version that belonged to Marshal von Schulenburg. The present group is rounded out with a seated figure of a little boy, his left arm raised and perhaps holding something meaningful in its right hand (broken off) and with a dog lying down patiently behind, perhaps an emblem of Fidelity, as in many a mediaeval tomb.

    Francesco Bertos specialised in airy groups of allegorical or mythological figures with attenuated limbs, such as these, and they often have abstruse identities and subjects.