Circle of Filippo Parodi (1630-1702), Genoese, late 17th / early 18th century
Collection Ernest and Jean Boissevain, Villa delle Rose, Florence;
Until sold Sotheby's, Florence, 27th and 28th September 1980, lots 202 and 203;
Private collection Germany
Paola Rotondi Briasco, Filippo Parodi, Genoa 1962;
Filippo Parodi (1630-1702):
of Genoese in origin, Parodi was highly esteemed both as a decorator and as a sculptor and worked in his native city for the major part of his career. During the six years he spent in Rome, he worked closely with Bernini whose style he emulated and later incorporated into his own sculptural works (particularly the tomb of the Doge Morosini in Venice). The time Parodi spent in Rome is vital for the comprehension of the stylistic characteristics of his work. The crowning of the pediment of the altar of the Virgin in S. Maria delle Vigne, Genoa, with allegorical figures of Faith, Hope and Charity follows a composition that occurs frequently in Roman churches, and four statues representing characters from Ovid's Metamorphoses (Narcissus, Heliantha and Flora, all Genoa, Palazzo Reale) reveal a thorough knowledge of Roman Baroque sculpture.
Ernest and Jean Boissevain at Villa delle Rose:
These magnificent sculptures originally formed part of the collection of celebrated operatic soprano and philanthropist Jean Tennyson Boissevain (1903-1991) and her Dutch born husband Ernest Boissevain (1898-1984) at Villa delle Rose in the hills above Florence.
The stunning Villa delle Rose was built in the 15th century in typical Tuscan style by the Rossi family who in 1487 sold it to the Antinori family. It remained in the latter's posession until the mid 20th century. The Boissevains bought the villa, restored it carefully to its old splendour and assembled an eclectic collection of Chinese and European ceramics, silver, sculpture and furniture. The couple also spent their time between other homes in Ischia, Vermont, and an apartement on Avenue George V in Paris. However, it was in Villa delle Rose that the couple would entertain lavishly their friends including Quenn Anne of Romania and the Duchess Canevaro di Zoagli. They breathed new life to the old ballroom (see fig.1) that subsequently saw famous musicians and conductors such as Arthur Rubinstein and Herbert von Karajan perform.
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