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Details & Cataloguing

19th & 20th Century Sculpture

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London

Scipione Moretti
1825 - 1893
ITALIAN
IL CACCIATORE AFRICANO (THE AFRICAN HUNTER)
signed and dated: SCIPne Moretti / fece in Roma 1880
bronze, dark brown patina
90 by 80cm., 35 3/8  by 31½in.
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Catalogue Note

The son of an architect, Scipione Moretti began his training in 1843 as an assistant in the studios of Pietro Tenerani and Randolph Rogers, two of the most distinguished neoclassical sculptors active in Rome. In 1864 Moretti moved on to the workshop of Giuseppe Obici, with whom he collaborated in the execution of the statues for the Column of the Immaculate Conception near the Spanish steps. In 1883, the same year that he participated in a contest for the monument to Raphael in Urbino, Moretti exhibited Il cacciatore africano at the International Exhibition in Rome to critical acclaim. The sculptor subsequently left Rome to work in San Sebastian, Spain, returning to Italy in 1890.

Moretti’s oeuvre includes religious works and monuments in both bronze and marble; however Il cacciatore africano remains his best-known work. In style and subject matter, this impressive and unusually large-scale bronze is far removed from Moretti’s neoclassical training. Instead, the romanticised realism of the scene relates closely to French ethnographic genre sculpture. Accompanied by his faithful dog on one side, and threatened by a rampant lion on the other, Moretti’s African hunter is poised to shoot at a beast in the distance, his face bearing an intense look of concentration. 

RELATED LITERATURE
A. Panzetta, Nuovo dizionario degli scultori italiani, Turin, 2003, p. 590; fig. 1264

19th & 20th Century Sculpture

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London