AFTER GIOVANNI BATTISTA FOGGINI (1652-1725)
SOUTHERN NETHERLANDISH, 18TH CENTURY
bronze, on an ebonised wood base
bronze: 21.5 by 28cm., 8½ by 11in.
base: 2 by 24 by 10.5cm., ¾ by 9½ by 4⅛in.
Overall the condition of the bronze is very good, with some dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is minor wear to the lacquer patina at the high points. There are several small nicks and scratches. There are a few minor original casting fissures and lacunae, notably to the abdomen and the haunches on the proper left side. Minor general wear to the painted wood 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."
The present bronze relates to a group of The Rape of Europa in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, in which Jupiter, in the guise of a bull, bears the abducted Europa on his back. The Cambridge bronze is cast as two separate pieces, with a large aperture in the bull's back to accommodate Europa and her drapery, and is the only version of the model known. Although the presence of an almost identical wax model in the Museo di Doccia suggests it was made for production in porcelain, no such versions are known; the wax is documented in an 18th century inventory as the work of Foggini. Clearly derived from the Foggini model, the present bull is without a mount; alone it recalls the pacing and rearing quadrupeds of Giambologna and his Florentine followers though no other lone rearing bull has survived from those workshops. Inspiration for the animal ultimately comes from the ancient marble group of the Farnese Bull, in which the sons of Antiope struggle with the similarly rampant bull. There the head twists left and not right. Interestingly the present bull has an almost identical tail placement to the wax and plaster Doccia models, as opposed to the more hooped tail seen in the Fitzwilliam bronze and other versions of the lone bull such as the bronze sold at Sotheby's New York on 27 January 2011, lot 440.
V. Avery, Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Daniel Katz, Ltd., London, 2002, pp. 86-89, no. 7; J. Winter (ed.), Le Statue del Marchese Ginori sculture in porcellana bianca di Doccia, Florence, 2011, figs. 2 and 3