Lot 26
  • 26

Raffaello Romanelli

40,000 - 60,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Raffaello Romanelli
  • Acquaiola (Water Carrier)
  • indistinctly signed: Prof R..lli
  • white marble, on a revolving green marble pedestal
  • figure: 122cm., 48in. 
    column: 82.5cm., 32½in. 


Sotheby's New York, 24 October 2012, lot 63


A. Panzetta, Nuovo dizionario degli scultori italiani, Turin, 2003,  vol. II, 2003, p. 816, no. 1607

Catalogue Note

Raffaello Romanelli was from the second generation of a dynasty of Florentine sculptors active from the 1820s onward. The son of Pasquale Romanelli, he is considered one of the foremost Italian monumental sculptors of his generation. He studied under his father (a pupil of Lorenzo Bartolini) and August Rivalta at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, moving to Rome briefly in 1880. During the 1890s he was commissioned for numerous funerary and public monuments in Florence, including those to Donatello (Chiesa Medicea di San Lorenzo) and Cellini on the Ponte Vecchio. International fame was secured by high profile commissions such as the Demidoff monument in Kiev and the General Martin monument in Caracas, as well as through his successive showings at the international exhibitions of the period. By the first decade of the twentieth century Raffaello had achieved a reputation in both the United States and Europe, and had garnered effusive praise in the international press, with the The Anglo-American Gazette calling him "Italy's greatest living sculptor," in 1908 and the San Francisco Examiner contending that he was "to Italy what Rodin is to France" in 1915. He was eventually appointed Professor of the Accademia where he promoted his naturalistic style and was followed by his son Romano, who had an equally successful career as a sculptor. The imposing presence and effortless elegance of the present marble's creative subject and posture are accentuated through Romanelli's thorough understanding of sculptural naturalism.