21
21
Giuseppe Croff
ITALIAN
NYMPH AT THE FOUNTAIN
21
Giuseppe Croff
ITALIAN
NYMPH AT THE FOUNTAIN

Details & Cataloguing

Age of Elegance: European Paintings, Furniture and Works of Art from the 19th Century

Hong Kong

Giuseppe Croff
1810-1869
ITALIAN
NYMPH AT THE FOUNTAIN
signed: G. CROFF.
white marble, set into a veined white marble base, on a faux marble wooden base
woman and base: 125cm., 49 1/4 in.
base: 83.5 by 55.5 by 69cm., 32 7/8  by 21 7/8  by 27 1/8 in.
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Catalogue Note

Giuseppe Croff was a 19th century Italian sculptor who lived and worked in Milan. He studied at the Accademia di Brera in Milan and from 1830 to 1833 he studied under the guidance of Camillo Pacetti. He later attended the workshop of Pompeo Marchesi. Croff was inspired by the Neoclassical movement, and his figures demonstrate the ideal standards of Classical beauty. However, he was not confined by tradition and explored other styles in his marble compositions. 

 The Veiled Nun, in the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, is one of Croff’s most celebrated works and also one of the most popular objects in the prestigious collection. Carved in marble, The Veiled Nun is a fine example of a detailed rendering of texture and form, as the thin material gently reveals the contours of the nun’s face. 

The present marble follows the style of the great sculptures of the early 19th century carved by the influential Neoclassical Venetian sculptor, Antonio Canova. The composition places it among a Classical tradition of representing goddesses and mythical female nudes - often modestly attempting to cover themselves. Perhaps the most famous Classical Greek sculpture is the Venus of Cnidus, a very early example of a female nude, in which Venus appears to have been surprised while bathing, and reaches for her robe too late to cover her figure from the viewer’s gaze. The original Venus of Cnidus carved by Praxiteles has not survived, but it was widely copied in the ancient world. The present lovely and charming marble is a departure from Neoclassicism and a move towards Romantic Italian Sculpture. 

RELATED LITERATURE

A. Panzetta, Nuovo dizionario degli scultori italiani dell’ottocento e del primo novecento A-L, Turin, 2003, vol. 1, p. 233

Age of Elegance: European Paintings, Furniture and Works of Art from the 19th Century

Hong Kong