View full screen - View 1 of Lot 75. Attributed to Massimiliano Soldani Benzi (1656-1740) | Italian, Florence, first half 18th century | After the Antique | The Apollino and Mercury.
75

Attributed to Massimiliano Soldani Benzi (1656-1740) | Italian, Florence, first half 18th century | After the Antique | The Apollino and Mercury

Attributed to Massimiliano Soldani Benzi (1656-1740) | Italian, Florence, first half 18th century | After the Antique | The Apollino and Mercury

Attributed to Massimiliano Soldani Benzi (1656-1740) | Italian, Florence, first half 18th century | After the Antique | The Apollino and Mercury

Attributed to Massimiliano Soldani Benzi (1656-1740)

Italian, Florence, first half 18th century

After the Antique

The Apollino and Mercury


bronze, on ebonised wood bases

bronzes: 32.5cm., 12¾in. each 

bases: 12.5cm., 5in. each

Overall in good condition with minor surface dirt and wear consistent with age. There are some minor nicks and scratches, including to the Apollino's proper right shoulder blade and his proper left thigh, and to the edges of both figures' integral bases. A few original casting pins are slightly visible, including to Mercury's helmet, Apollo's lyre, and to Mercury's goat hide (with minor dryness and greening around it). There is some wear to the lacquer patina, however it retains its original reddish-gold sheen.

There is minor wear to the ebonised wood bases, including some evidence of non-active worming and very minor splitting to the wood.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

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, Sansovino's Bacchus, and the Venus de' Medici, the Apollino and the Mercurio were amongst the models selected by the sculptor, whose small scale statuettes are recorded in the Doccia porcelain inventories, including: 'No. 22 Mercurio appoggiato col braccio destro al tronco. Con sue forme' and 'No. 43 Apollo di Villa Medici, ora in Galleria di Firenze, con sue forme (published by Lankheit, 1982, op. cit., pp. 105, 158). The present bronzes are particularly fine casts with pins to the undersides which are characteristic of Soldani bronzes. Casts of both models by Soldani are in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence (illustrated in Schmidt et al., op. cit., pp. 72-72, figs. 7 and 9).


RELATED LITERATURE

K. Lankheit, Florentinische Barockplastik: Die Kunst am Hofe der letzten Medici 1670-1743, Munich, 1962; 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; E. Schmidt, S. Bellesi and R. Gennaioli, Plasmato dal fuoco: La scultura in bronzo nella Firenze degli ultimi Medici, exh. cat. Palazzo Pitti, 2019


The present bronzes are the subject of an expertise by Dr Charles Avery, in which he attributes them firmly to Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. This expertise is available upon request.