- Luigi Bienaimé
- L'Amor Divino (Divine Love)
- signed and dated: L. Bienaimé F. 1833
- white marble
- 104cm., 41in.
by descent to his grandson Conrad Hinrich III von Donner (d.1911);
by descent to his daughter-in-law Agnes Baroness von Donner;
by descent to her granddaughter Angelika von Donner (1960-1992);
Sotheby's London, 9 July 2004, lot 111
Conrad Hinrich Donner was a financier, statesman and art collector who founded the Hamburg-based Donner Bank in 1798. He founded the Museumspavillon Donner - destroyed in 1942 - where the present piece accompanied Thorvaldsen's masterpiece The Three Graces. It is interesting to note that Bienaimé was the only Italian sculptor from whom Donner made purchases, the others being the Dane, Hermann Wilhelm Bissen, and the German, Adolph Moritz Jahn.
The present figure is one of just two marble versions of L’Amor Divino known to exist. The other is in the cappella della S. Sindone in Turin Cathedral, while the plaster model is in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (inv.no. I.N.621). The angel depicted in L'Amor Divino, also known as Angelo dalle braccia incrociate sul petto, is a reworking of the figure of the young child in Bienaimé's large 155cm group of Angelo Custode e fanciullo of 1831. The plaster L'Amor Divino in the Carlsberg Glyptotek is dated 1832 and the present work 1833, thus providing a clear sequence for its development and refinement.
J.B. Hartmann, 'La Triade Italiana del Thorvaldsen, Alcune Considerazioni su Temi Mitologici e Cristiani', Antalogia di Belle Arti, 1984, nos. 23-24, pp. 106-107; A. Panzetta, Nuovo Dizionario degli Scultori Italiani dell'Ottocento e del Primo Novecento, Turin, 2003, vol. I, p. 91