1846 - 1893
signed: E. Rosa
alabaster, on an alabaster socle
105cm., 41⅜in. overall
There is dirt and wear to the alabaster consistent with age. There are a few well restored breaks, which are at the feet, proper left arm, proper right hand and breast, and at the neck. There are restorations here. The are minor surface abrasions to the alabaster. The base is composed in two original sections. There are particular abrasions to the lower section. There is veining to the alabaster consistent with the material and particularly at the base.
"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."
A. Panzetta, Nuovo Dizionario degli Scultori Italiani dell’ottocento e del primo Novecento, vol. 2., Turin, 2003, fig. 1618 (probably the same marble as illustrated)
Ercole Rosa was born into a poor family in the Marche region of Italy. His father was a stone-cutter who supplemented his income by fashioning crib figures out of terracotta. Rosa's first experience of sculpture was in helping his father at this work. He moved to Rome to study sculpture in 1858 and in 1874 won the competition for the commission of a monument to the Cairoli brothers. With the completion of this monument Rosa became a leading figure in the Roman art world and his reputation spread across Italy resulting in various important commissions including the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Piazza del duomo. His work combined Italian 'verismo' techniques with Romanticism.
The Phryne illustrated in Panzetta's Dictionary, dating to 1874, is very similar to the present alabaster and has a similar socle to the present lot (op. cit. no. 1618). The model has sometimes been referred to as La Lampada Infranta (The Broken Lamp), and is recorded by the antiquarian Augusto Jandolo (op. cit.), who met Marietta del Frata, Rosa's model for the present Phryne.
A. Jandolo, Le Memorie di un Antiquari, Milan, 1935, pp. 274-281; A. Panzetta, Nuovo Dizionario degli Scultori Italiani dell’ottocento e del primo Novecento, vol. 2., Turin, 2003, fig. 1618