ATTRIBUTED TO MASSIMILIANO SOLDANI BENZI (1656-1740), ITALIAN, FLORENCE, FIRST HALF 18TH CENTURY, AFTER THE ANTIQUE | VENUS DE' MEDICI
ATTRIBUTED TO MASSIMILIANO SOLDANI BENZI (1656-1740)
ITALIAN, FLORENCE, FIRST HALF 18TH CENTURY
AFTER THE ANTIQUE
VENUS DE' MEDICI
bronze, on a probably early 19th-century grey marble base with ormolu mounts
bronze: 29.5cm., 11⅝in.
base: 10.2cm., 4in.
Overall the condition of the bronze is good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is a slightly open but stable original joint at the proper right arm. There are also a series of plugs in this area (to both the arm and shoulder and back). There is some minor rubbing to the old lacquers, including to the feet. There are a few minor scratches to the patina, such as at the jawbone on the proper right side. There has possibly been a knock to some of the locks of hair on the proper right side of the head. There is some minor dark spotting and dirt residues to the patina. There is also minor greening including to between the legs. There are a few minor stable fissures, including to where the shins meet the heels. A few nicks, including to the back. General wear to the base, including minor surface abrasions.
"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."
This beautiful bronze Venus de' Medici is very close to another bronze of the same subject which is given to the celebrated Florentine sculptor Massimiliano Soldani Benzi and is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (ex Ogden Mills collection; inv. no. 27.36.8). Soldani was responsible for casting a series of fine small scale bronzes (all circa 30cm high) of the most famous ancient and renaissance sculptural models. Alongside the Dancing Faun and and Sansovino's Bacchus (amongst others), the Venus de' Medici was one of the models selected by the sculptor, whose small scale statuettes are recorded in the Doccia porcelain inventories, including: 'No. 17 La Venere de Medici. Con sue forme' (published by Lankheit, 1982, op. cit., p. 157). The present bronze is a particularly fine cast: note the beautifully chased lips and eyes. Soldani cast a lifesize version of the Venus de' Medici in 1695 for Prince Johann Adam Adreas I von Liechtenstein which is still in the Liechtenstein collection (inv. no. SK537).
K. Lankheit, Florentinische Barockplastik: Die Kunst am Hofe der letzten Medici 1670-1743, Munich, 1962, p. 157, figs. 13-20; C. Avery, 'Soldani's Small Bronze Statuettes after 'Old Masters' Sculptures in Florence,' K. Lankheit, Kunst des Barock in der Toskana. Studien zur Kunst unter den letzten Medici, Munich, 1976, pp. 165-172