ATTRIBUTED TO ANTONIO ROSSETTI (B. 1819), ITALIAN, CIRCA 1880 | LA TENTAZIONE DI UNA VESTALE (THE TEMPTATION OF A VESTAL)
Estimate: 40,000 - 60,000 GBP
Property from a German Family Collection
ATTRIBUTED TO ANTONIO ROSSETTI (B. 1819)
ITALIAN, CIRCA 1880
LA TENTAZIONE DI UNA VESTALE (THE TEMPTATION OF A VESTAL)
Overall the condition of the marble is very good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is natural veining to the marble consistent with the material. There are some minor naturally occurring inclusions in the marble, in particular to the Vestal's proper left shoulder. There are some very small losses to the tips of the putto's wings. There are a few abrasions to some high points. There are a few dirt marks to some high points. There is an abrasion and dirt marks to the putto's proper right calf. There are some dirt marks to the eyes. There are some minor abrasions to some of the Vestal's fingers. The base is in good condition and revolves. There is an area of well-blended restoration to the base at the front. There are a few minor chips and abrasions and some minor splashes of paint.
"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."
The playful exuberance of this beautifully carved, life-size marble is characteristic of the Italian sculptor Antonio Rossetti, who established an international reputation with his striking genre statuary.
Another life-size version of the present model, signed by Rossetti, was sold at Christie's Paris on 12-14 December 2018 as lot 75 (€90,000). The model can almost certainly be identified with La tentazione di una Vestale, which Rossetti is recorded to have exhibited in Rome in 1879. The modestly clad Vestal Virgin is being teased by an insolent putto representing the God of Love. Although the present marble is unsigned, the considerable finesse of its carving points towards Rossetti's authorship. Note the minutely textured surface of the dress and base, and the woman's intricately carved headdress.
Born in Milan, Antonio Rossetti received his initial training under Francesco Somaini before moving to Rome in 1843, where is documented to have been active until at least 1889. Rossetti's works were exhibited widely, including in Liverpool (1877), London (1888), and Chicago (1893).
Panzetta, Nuovo dizionario degli Scultori Italiani dell’Ottocento e del Primo Novecento, Turin, 2003, p. 785