After Alessandro Algardi, Italian (1598-1654) A rare and important Florentine second half of the 17th century gilt bronze relief of the Pieta

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Lot 25
After Alessandro Algardi, Italian (1598-1654)
A rare and important Florentine second half of the 17th century gilt bronze relief of the Pieta

£ 12,000 - 18,000
US$ 15,000 - 22,000
After Alessandro Algardi, Italian (1598-1654)
A rare and important Florentine second half of the 17th century gilt bronze relief of the Pieta
of octagonal form, the Virgin with arms outstretched, Christ below with billowing drapery behind, the base of the cross depicted to the left side, in a bronze frame (probably later), 32cm wide, 32cm high (12.5" wide, 12.5" high)

Footnotes

  • Three octagonal casts of this model are known and all are attributable to Algardi on stylistic grounds. Jennifer Montagu dates the original model to the mid 1630's and attributes it to Algardi based on the distinctive modelling, the close relationship to a relief of the Trinity by the sculptor and a preliminary drawing now in the Uffizi. She asserts that the perfection of the fracture in all of the known casts suggests that they were produced in Florentine workshops in the second half of the 17th century.

    The present relief relates most closely to that in the Frick Collection, New York. The main difference is the lack of fringing to the drapery on the right side and the lack of beading to the collars and cuffs of the Virgin. The Frick relief is un-gilded with a dark patina. There is another relief, formerly in the Schloss Ottenstein (Czechoslovakia) Schatz-kammer, which probably dates to the third quarter of the 17th century and is executed in gilt bronze. This differs from the present relief in that the lower part of the cross has been engraved to resemble bricks whereas ours is plain. The upper section features spiralling clouds and areas of the drapery are different. There is a further bronze relief in the Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi, Rome which is a particularly fine cast and has the same plain cross as our relief.
    Although slightly different, each relief shares the same delicate treatment of surface, has been executed using the combination of techniques including tooling and punching as well as engraved to represent the different textures.

    The Frick relief was previously the property of Victor D. Spark and was sold at Christies, January 14 1992, lot 145 for $154,000
    A second half of the 17th century gilt bronze relief depicting the rest on the flight into Egypt after Algardi was sold at Sotheby's New York January 29 2010 lot 439 as part of the Sackler Collection. This piece is similar stylistically to the present relief, with the background closed off by a curtain, and the figures seeming to float in an undefined spatial plane.

    Related Literature: J. Montagu Alessandro Algardi, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1985, page 343.
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