With Daniel Katz, London, 1997; Private Collection, USA
London, Daniel Katz Gallery, 500 Years of Florentine Art,1997
Conway Library Collections, Courtauld Institute, London. Ref: A98/228, Giambologna, 16th Century Sculpture
Giambologna is thought to have carved the Venus of the Grotticella in 1572 or 1573 for his great patron, Francesco de'Medici. The under-lifesize marble representing the Roman goddess of love was designed to surmount a fountain in the interior chamber of the grotto of Buontalenti in Florence's Boboli gardens, where it remains today. Perhaps the most ambitious of the Mannerist sculptor's female nudes, the Grotticella Venus has been hailed as 'Giambologna's masterpiece' in its consummation of the figura serpentinata principle, by which a figure is seen to be 'spiralling' from all angles (Avery, op. cit., p. 107). Her placement in a grotto underlines the erotic appeal of the figure, whose idealised female forms are exhibited effectively in this complex composition. The present marble is a rare copy and of the same dimensions as Giambologna's celebrated original.
RELATED LITERATURE C. Avery, Giambologna: The Complete Sculpture, Oxford, 1987, pp. 97-107
Overall the condition of the marble is good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is natural veining to the marble consistent with the material including minor slightly open veins running down the back and at the proper left leg. There are some very minor surface scratches including to the proper right wrist. There is a small chip to the proper left index finger. There are minor abrasions to the toes. There are minor chips and scratches to the edges of the terrasse. There are naturally occurring inclusions to the surface. The painted wood base is in good condition with minor wear. Joints are visible. The marble has been inset into the base with brackets. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."