- Adolfo Wildt
- Vergine (The Virgin)
- signed: A. WILDT
- cream-coloured marble, mounted on a veined yellow marble background
- 35 by 28.9cm., 13¾ by 11 3/8 in.
Maria Teresa Lazzarone, Rome
Vergine, also known as Testina di Maria, recalls one of Wildt's earliest marbles – his Vedova of 1892. That marble portrait of a woman with a scarf encircling her face was based on the features of the artist's wife, Dina Boschi. That he chose to depict her as a widow is entirely in keeping with the artist's melancholic temperament. In its turn Vedova was inspired by Antonio Canova's marble bust of a Vestal Virgin in the Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Milan. The calm serenity of the Vestal's face is framed by the sweeping folds of scarf pulled under her chin and over her head, just revealing the hairline.
In his Vergine Wildt has simplified both prototypes to focus on the fragment of the face. As Elena Pontiggia has noted, in her introspective reverie Wildt represents the Virgin 'pondering these things in her heart.' The model is remarkable as it eschews Wildt's characteristic sharp lines and angles in favour of soft forms and evocative shadows.
The present version was owned by Pia Scheiwiller, sister of the well-known publisher and intellectual Giovanni Scheiwiller, who was married to Artemia, the eldest daughter of Adolfo Wildt. It is likely that the marble was a gift from Giovanni and Artemia Scheiwiller - if not from Wildt himself - to the 'aunt in Rome', as Pia was known by the family living in Milan.
V. Sgarbi ed., Wildt a Forlì: La scultura dell'anima, ex. cat. Palazzo Alberini, Forli, 2000, nos. 11-13, pp. 93-95; Adolfo Wildt e I suoi allievi, ex. cat. Palazzo Martinengo, Brescia, 2000, nos. 1 & 35, pp. 40-1 & 94-5
This lot is sold with an expertise by Paola Mola.