90
90
Circle of Orazio Marinali (1643-1720)
Italian, Veneto, circa 1700
PAIR OF BUSTS OF PHILOSOPHERS
Estimate
18,00025,000
LOT SOLD. 22,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
90
Circle of Orazio Marinali (1643-1720)
Italian, Veneto, circa 1700
PAIR OF BUSTS OF PHILOSOPHERS
Estimate
18,00025,000
LOT SOLD. 22,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art Including Highlights from the Reinhold Hofstätter Collection

|
London

Circle of Orazio Marinali (1643-1720)
Italian, Veneto, circa 1700
PAIR OF BUSTS OF PHILOSOPHERS
white marble, on red verona marble socles
left philosopher: 57cm., 22 3/8 in. 
right philosopher: 59cm., 23¼in. 
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Provenance

Private collection, Athens, until circa 1976;
private collection, London

Catalogue Note

These wonderfully expressive and imposing busts have been carved with great attention to detail. The anatomy and facial expressions reflect the Baroque taste of the Veneto region in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and can be compared to the work of Orazio Marinali, his teacher Josse de Corte, and his contemporaries Giacomo Piazzetta and Michiel Fabris, called L'Ongaro, who were all active in Venice at the same time. Notably Marinali, the most celebrated member of a family of sculptors, held a fascination for the representation of extreme emotions, and produced a number of busts of this type, where the powerful and accentuated facial expressions seem to balance on the edge of caricature. The present busts bear an especially close likeness to a pair of busts in the Musei Civici in Padua, formerly attributed to Marinali's circle by John Webster, but now simply attributed to 'a Veneto 17th century sculptor' by Pavanello (op. cit. nos. 29, 30).

The iconography of the present pair of busts seems to adhere to the popular motif of the crying and the laughing philosopher, or Heraclitus and Democritus. Democritus, on the left, has wrinkles from laughing in the corner of his eye; Heraclitus has his eyebrows peaked and frowns in an expression of sorrow. His proper left cheek may have once held a tear. 

RELATED LITERATURE
C. Semenzato, La Scultura Veneta del Seicento e del Settecento, Venice, 1966, p. 35, fig. 67; S. Guerriero, 'Le alterne fortune dei marmi' in G. Pavanello (ed.), La Scultura Veneta del Seicento e del Settecento: Nuovi Studi, Venice, 2002, figs 3, 8-11, 19, 26-30

Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art Including Highlights from the Reinhold Hofstätter Collection

|
London