ITALIAN, FLORENCE OR VENETO, SECOND HALF 16TH CENTURY
bronze, on a verde antico marble and gilt metal base
the bronze incised: M a
bronze: 10 by 28cm., 3⅞ by 11in.
16.5 by 30.5cm., 6½ by 12in. overall
Overall the condition of the bronze is good, with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. A stable original joint is slightly visible running from the front left side of the bronze through Cleopatra's proper right side of the chest and shoulder to the left edge of the bronze. There are a few small original lacunae, notably one to a crevice of the drapery behind Cleopatra's back, and another in front of the block on which she is resting. There is a hole below Cleopatra's proper left foot, and another smaller one beside the drapery at the front right corner. There is wear to the lacquer patina, including rubbing and some flaking in areas. There are a few minor nicks and scratches, including to the proper left elbow and the proper left knee.
The base is in good condition with some wear, including minor chips to the marble and dark spotting to the gilding.
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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Possibly based on the influential ancient Roman marble representing the Sleeping Ariadne (or Cleopatra), this elegant bronze follows the tradition of bronzes in the antique style established by early 16th-century North Italian sculptors such as Andrea Riccio and Antico (see Frankfurt cat., op. cit., pp. 414-425). In the later 16th century the subject of a reclining female nude became popular with Mannerist sculptors, notably Giambologna, whose Sleeping Nymph bears some resemblance to the present bronze - note the clutching of the drapery in both models. Two further casts of the present model have appeared on the market; one at Sotheby's New York, 31 May 1990 (lot 93) and another sold as part of the Cyril Humphris Collection, Sotheby's New York, 11 January 1995 (lot 83).
C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, Giambologna (1529-1608), Sculptor to the Medici, exh. cat. Edinburgh, London and Vienna, 1978, nos. 69-74; Natur und Antike in der Renaissance, exh. cat. Liebieghaus, Frankfurt am Main, 1985