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A pair of large allegorical bronze groups of The Vintage and The Art of War
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À propos de l'objet

Each of eleven figures and animals mounted on a rounded base cast with central altar from which the interlinking composition rises in conical form; one centred by a stag surmounted by a crowned rider holding a scroll engraved with a building supporting a further figure holding a statue of Minerva; the second group centred by a rearing horse bearing a nymph holding vine garlands with bacchanalian satyrs, goats and putti about the base (4)\nThis impressive pair of bronze groups, each consisting of eleven figures and animals and over a metre in height, exemplify Bertos's highly individualistic style.  The models are the largest and most complex of Bertos's allegorical groups. The iconography is of almost whimsical inspiration, with interlocking figures spiralling upwards and cast with long slender limbs, distinctive pinched facial features and broadly swathed drapery.\n\nThey were first published in the collection of Alphonse von Rothschild, with an attribution to the Venetian sculptor Francesco Bertos, by Planiscig in 1928 - an attribution which has since been confirmed by comparison with two smaller groups in the Getty Museum signed OPVS BERTOS, and with a larger one composed of eleven figures that is comprehensively signed BERTOS INVENTOR ET SCVLTOR SOLUS DEI GRATIA FVSIT PERFECIT FECIT (inv.nos.85.SB.73.1-2 and 85.SB.74 respectively). These groups were also formerly in Vienna, in the Lederer collection, and the latter shares a similar dark brown and laquered patina to that found on the present bronzes.\n\nOnly two other versions of the Rothschild groups are known to exist.  One pair is in the Palazzo Reale, Turin, first published by Planiscig in February 1929. The other, minus its pendant The Vintage, is now in the Prado, Madrid. The current whereabouts of the pendant is unknown, but can be identified with that sold in these rooms 2nd February 1945 and later illustrated by Weihrauch as being in the possession of an art dealer (op. cit., p.428).\n\nIn comparing the three pairs the stags in the Rothschild and Prado Art of War casts share the same palmate antlers, whereas the stag depicted in the Turin cast has the multi-tined variety. However, the Turin bronze shares with the Rothschild group the attributes of the Minerva statuette and wand, held by the uppermost figure. In the Prado cast, this same figure is uniquely equipped with a bow and arrow.  What consequently distinguishes the Rothschild Art of War cast from either the Prado or Turin versions are the wings attached to the putto in the foreground of the group.\n\nThe Prado Art of War and its missing pendant The Vintage once constituted half of a set of four similarly sized casts. Hildburgh published and illustrated them when they were in the Lionel Harris collection, and identified the pendant pair as representing Sculpture and Drama. Unlike The Vintage, these two casts were not separated from the original set and are also in the Prado (inv.nos.E505 and E503). They are easily distinguishable by their central representation of a centaur and centauress.  Another pairing of Sculpture and Drama can be found in the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia (inv.nos.71.2609 and 712608), which could have been the original pendant pair for either the present Rothschild groups or those in Turin.\nRELATED LITERATURE\nL. Planiscig, 'Dieci opere di Francesco Bertos conservate nel Palazzo Reale di Torino', Dedalo 9, Milan 1928-9, pp.561-575; W.L. Hildburgh, 'Some Bronze Groups by Francesco Bertos', Apollo 27, 1938, pp.81-5; J. Pope-Hennessy, Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the V&A, London 1964, pp.662-63, fig.70; H.Weihrauch, Europäische bronzestatuetten, Braunschweig 1967, pp.428-43, no.512; J.C.Harrison, The Chrysler Museum: Handbook of the European and American Collection, Norfolk. Va., 1991, pp.64-65, no.49; R.Coppel Aréizaga, Catálogo de la escultura de época moderna, Museo del Prado, Madrid 1998, pp.113-15, nos.30-32; A.Bacchi, La Scultura a Venezia da Sansovino a Canova, Milan 2000, pp.698-700; P.Fogelman, in Italian and Spanish Sculpture, Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection, Los Angeles, 2002, pp.286-99, nos.36-7;\nS.Lillie, Was einmal war, Vienna 2003, p.1030, nos.813-14
GB
GB
GB

notes

Please note that one of the bronze groups is signed "F. BERTOS / F." which was not stated in the catalogue.

dimensions

112 and 108cm., 44 and 42½in.

literature

L.Planiscig, 'Francesco Bertos', Dedalo 9, Milan 1928-9, pp.209-21 illustrated pp.213, 215

provenance

Baron Alphonse von Rothschild (1878-1942), Vienna; Seized from the above and allocated for the Kunstmuseum Linz, 1938/9; Restituted to the Austrian government, Kremsmünster depot, 1945; Restituted from the above to Baroness Clarice von Rothschild, 1948; Sold thereafter to the consignor's family, thence by descent


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  • Voir tous les objets dans la catégorie Sculptures
  • Voir tous les objets dans la catégorie Sculptures
*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.


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