In the continuing reassessment of sculpture from the late Baroque period, Ticciati is one of the artists who is emerging as a defined personality. He was the pupil of Giovanni Battista Foggini and is much indebted to his master's style. Recent publications on Ticciati have elucidated his central role in the intellectual life of Florence in the first half of the 18th century. He was a leading member of the Florentine learned society, La Colombaria (see Giannotti op. cit., pp. 105-22) and he was provveditore of the Accademia del Disegno (see Barzman, op. cit., pp. 126-139) and through these connections he was able to influence several sculptural commissions.
As a sculptor Ticciati was closely involved in the decoration of the Baptistry for which he executed the main altar, dismantled in 1912, and a series of marble reliefs of the life the Baptist, now in the Opera del Duomo. Giannotti described his style as in the vein of Giovanni Battista Caccini (op. cit., p. 105), whilst Montagu, in 1974, assessed his marbles as 'heavy, ill-proportioned and graceless' (Twilight of the Medici, p. 144). In the broad planes of drapery and flat perspective of the Baptistry marble reliefs Montagu's comment finds credence, however, Ticciati's bronzes and terracottas reveal a more accomplished artist. His figures of the Four Season's which exist in gilt bronzes mounted on the famous Badminton Cabinet in the Liechtenstein Collection, also produced in Doccia porcelain, and the bronze group of Christ and Woman of Samaria (Madrid, Patrimonio Nacional del Palacio de Oriente) are lively in pose and individual in characterisation. When working in terracotta Ticciati displays greater freedom in composition, more subtlety in low relief and introduces more incidental details, such as the mysterious figure on the far left of the Adoration of the Magi.
The Adoration of the Magi relief was in fact first published as by Girolamo Ticciati by Sandro Bellesi in 1992 (op. cit., p.45, fig. 19). Bellesi notes the affinities in the typology of the figures as well as in the dramatisation and vitality of the scenes with the important series of reliefs of the life of St Catherine de' Ricci in Prato (San Vincenzo). In particular close comparisons can be made with the treatment of the clouds and the drapery handled in broad folds in the relief on the high altar in Prato representing St Catherine de' Ricci with Christ descending from the cross.
Bellesi indicates a date in the 1730s for the Adoration of the Magi relief, but its ambitious narrative and fluency of modelling perhaps suggests a dating earlier in his career when he seems more Baroque in his approach.
The Twilight of the Medici. Late Baroque Art in Florence 1670-1743, exh. cat. Detroit, Detroit Institute of Art, Florence, Palazzo Pitti, 1974, pp. 144-147
A. Giannotti, Girolamo Ticciati, scultore del Settecento, 'Atti e Memorie dell’Accademia della Colombaria', 1995, pp. 105-122; K. Barzman, The Florentine Academy and the Early Modern State. The discipline of Disegno, Cambridge, 2000
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