Antonio Rossetti (Italian, born 1819) Esmeralda and Djali 38 x 27 x 27in (96.5 x 68.5 x 68.5cm) excluding base; pedestal 33 x 29 x 29in (84 x 74 x 74cm)
Lot 76W
Antonio Rossetti (Italian, born 1819) Esmeralda and Djali 38 x 27 x 27in (96.5 x 68.5 x 68.5cm) excluding base; pedestal 33 x 29 x 29in (84 x 74 x 74cm)
Sold for US$ 60,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
Antonio Rossetti (Italian, born 1819)
Esmeralda and Djali
signed, inscribed and dated 'A. Rossetti. / Fece.Roma 1867' (rear of base)
marble on original rotating pedestal
38 x 27 x 27in (96.5 x 68.5 x 68.5cm) excluding base; pedestal 33 x 29 x 29in (84 x 74 x 74cm)

Footnotes

  • Edition of 5 (located). The other four examples are located in The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; Union League, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Liebieghaus Museum, Frankfurt, Germany.

    Esmeralda is the main character in Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, published in Paris in 1831. The novel became an immediate success upon publication, as it was the first one to address social injustice and include a broad panorama of characters interwoven in the story of Esmeralda, the beautiful gypsy dancer.
    Her tragic story of love and betrayal has captivated the imagination of artists from the very beginning until well into the 20th century, inspiring countless films, musicals and ballets.

    Antonio Rossetti depicted Esmeralda with her faithful goat, Djali, several times during the 1860s, a time when Victor Hugo's literary and political popularity was at an all-time high.

    Esmeralda and Djali are carved from white marble, the intricately detailed group mounted upon a contrasting, pale gray circular pedestal. The classically inspired column is embellished with dentil molding beneath the capital and fluting above the base. Inset around the shaft are four bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Esmeralda's life, alternating with carvings of beribboned tambourines and belled collars.

    The four views show the happy days when the young girl and her goat danced in the streets of Paris; the heroine's rescue by Phoebus from Quasimodo's (the eponymous hunchback) attempt to kidnap her; Esmeralda's gift of water to her pilloried would-be kidnapper; and Esmeralda imprisoned, awaiting execution, but reunited with Gudule, the mother from whom she was stolen, with Quasimodo left in her place.

Saleroom notices

  • For further information regarding shipping of this lot please contact the department. The successful bidder is responsible for the removal and shipment of this lot directly from the New York galleries.
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