These two comical chinoiserie figures appear to be additions to Bonazza's pair of grotesque Chinamen in the library of the University of Padua. All four marbles represent Western interpretations of Chinese mythological figures, including such characters as the beggar god Chi Kung. Each figure is characterised by its dwarf-like proportions, corpulent frame clothed in heavy drapery and its broad grin. Variations in the bases and the seating position suggest that the two pairs were not intended as a set of four.
The fascination for all things Chinese spread throughout Europe around 1700 and similar pagoda figures can be found in Meissen and Chantilly porcelain. Their execution in marble, however, seems to have been solely attempted by Bonazza, who also produced similar representations of Indians for his patrons around Padua.
A. N. Cellini, La scultura del settecento, Turin, 1982, p. 174; C. Semenzato, La scultura Veneta del seicento e del settecento, Venice, 1966, p. 120, no. 148; Associazione Italia-Cina and G. Magnoni, La moda cinese e le "cineserie" in Europa nei secoli XVII e XVIII, available: http://www.italiacina.org/cultura/arte_cineu4.htm, Last accessed 26 October 2010
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