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22 November 2018

Fine British and European Sculpture

Lot 12

After Giambologna

Estimate £400 - £600 + fees

Sold Price £850

After Giambologna, (Flemish working in Italy, 1527 ~ 1608), a bronze model of a pacing bull, 17th century, the bull portrayed with the left foreleg raised, the head inclined slightly to sinister and the tail curled upwards, on an associated moulded wood plinth

14.5cm high, 7.5cm long overall


Born and trained in Belgium, the sculptor Jean Boulogne, later Italianised to 'Giovanni Bologna' or 'Giambologna', travelled to Italy around 1550 in order to study the works of Antiquity and Renaissance. He was never to return from his trip. Convinced by the powerful Medici family to remain in Florence, he worked there as the family's court sculptor from the 1560's until the end of his career. Known for creating towering, impossible multi figure compositions of biblical and mythological subjects in marble and bronze, the contortionist bodies of Giambologna exemplify the ingenuity of mannerist sculpture. The sculptor created the model of the 'pacing bull' for Grand Duke Cosimo de Medici in 1573. From the twisted, muscular neck to the raised leg and tail, lifted up in alertness, this bull shows the great energy that characterises Giambologna's work. It also shows the clear influence of the dynamic Roman 'Farnese Bull' sculptural group, excavated in 1546. The present model is an early reproduction, dating from the 17th century, when Giambologna's oeuvre had already become of great importance to the next generation of sculptors, working in the dynamic style of the Baroque period

Versions of this model are held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (A.75-1949), and the Royal Collection (RCIN 35469)

A similar 17th century cast of the model was sold at Christie's Paris, Collection Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé, 23 ~ 25 February 2009, lot 589


Condition report disclaimer