View full screen - View 1 of Lot 39. Venus | Vénus.

Italian, Genoa, first half 18th century, Circle of Francesco Maria Schiaffino | Italie, Gênes, première moitié du XVIIIe siècle, Entourage de Francesco Maria Schiaffino

Venus | Vénus

Italian, Genoa, first half 18th century, Circle of Francesco Maria Schiaffino | Italie, Gênes, première moitié du XVIIIe siècle, Entourage de Francesco Maria Schiaffino

Italian, Genoa, first half 18th century, Circle of Francesco Maria Schiaffino | Italie, Gênes, première moitié du XVIIIe siècle, Entourage de Francesco Maria Schiaffino

Venus | Vénus

Venus | Vénus

Italian, Genoa, first half 18th century

Circle of Francesco Maria Schiaffino (1688-1763)


marble bust; on a Portor marble base

H. (overall) 82 cm, 32 ⅓ in.; (bust) 64 cm, 25 ⅕ in.; (base) 17 cm, 6 ⅔ in.


Italie, Gênes, première moitié du XVIIIe siècle

Entourage de Francesco Maria Schiaffino (1688-1763)


buste en marbre ; sur un socle en marble Portor

H. (totale) 82 cm, 32 ⅓ in. ; (buste) 64 cm, 25 ⅕ in.; (piédouche) 17 cm, 6 ⅔ in.

Good condition overall, with minor surface dirt, in particular in the crevices. A few natural inclusions visible to the marble in some places, consistent with the material, in particular to Venus’ forehead, and some grey natural veining to the folds of the drapery. Minor wear and scratches to the surface, in some places, in particular to her chest. The light yellow discoloration of the marble is due to aging of an old layer of wax to the surface which can be easily removed through a thorough cleaning.

A few minor chips and losses to the marble, in particular one small loss (circa 1 cm) to the end of her hair band at the back of her neck. The tip of one curl of her hair to her proper right shoulder has been restored.

An old restoration is visible (circa 3 cm) to the folds in the front of the drapery.

The Portor marble base in good condition, with a few minor chips and losses to the edges. There appears to be an old horizontal restored break through the center of the base, with some fillings which doesn't disturb the appearance.

Very attractive marble bust with good carving.

Please note: Condition XVI of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot. (Veuillez noter que l'Article XVI des Conditions Générales de Vente applicables aux Vendeurs (Ventes Effectuées Exclusivement en Ligne) n'est pas applicable pour ce lot.)


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.

Related Literature/Références bibliographiques

F. Franchini Guelfi, R. Santamaria, Jacopo Antonio Ponzanelli : scultore, architetto, decoratore : Carrara 1654-Genova 1735, Fosdinovo, 2011.

L. Puccio Canepa “Interventi settecenteschi a Chiavari : F. Schiaffino e G. Galeotti nella chiesa di S. Giovanni Battista », Arte Cristiana, n°89, 2001, p.355-368.

Kunst in der Republik Genua 1528-1815, cat. exp. Frankfort, Schirn Kunsthalle, 1992, pp. 234 et 259.

E. Parma Armani, M.C. Galassi, La scultura a Genova e in Liguria. Dal Seicento al primo Novecento. Gênes, 1987-1989, p. 191-192, figs. 262 + 263.

This marble bust, typical of Genoese sculpture of the first half of the eighteenth century, is situated at the crossover point between late Baroque and the beginnings of Rococo. This was the moment when the city of Genoa became the centre of a school of innovative sculptors, who trained with Filippo Parodi (1630 –1702), as well as in the workshop of Camillo Rusconi (1658–1728) in Rome. Many of Parodi’s pupils, including Giacomo Antonio Ponsonelli (1654–1735), and Bernardo and Francesco Maria Schiaffino (1688–1763), became highly successful virtuoso artists.

The exuberant forms and refined modelling of the present marble recall the works of Francesco Maria Schiaffino, who trained with Parodi in Genoa from 1721 to 1724. He found inspiration during an apprenticeship in Rome before returning to Genoa, where he adapted forms of Spanish and French Baroque. Schiaffino’s sculptures, just like those of Ponsonelli, decorated aristocratic Genoese palazzi as well as religious buildings. His masterpieces include his monumental statues of the Virtues – Fortezza, Penitenza and Obedienza – made in about 1738 for the tomb of Caterina Fieschi Adorno in the church of the Santissima Annunziata di Portoria in Genoa.

The present Venus shares certain characteristics with Schiaffino’s Virtues, especially the fine facial features – a strong, straight nose; delicate, half-open lips; and almond-shaped eyes – as well as the careful modelling of the hair, which falls in sinuous tresses held back by a headband, from which a few strands escape. Her ample cloak, elegantly draped over her shoulders in deep folds, leaves her naked breast exposed, a recurrent motif in marbles by the artist’s master Parodi and his colleague Ponsonelli.


Ce buste en marbre, caractéristique de la sculpture génoise de la première moitié du XVIIIe siècle, se situe au croisement du Baroque tardif et des prémices du Rococo. La ville de Gênes devient dès lors le centre d’une école de sculpteurs novateurs, formés auprès de Filippo Parodi (1630 -1702), ainsi qu’à Rome dans l’atelier de Camillo Rusconi (1658 - 1728). Plusieurs élèves de Parodi, dont Giacomo Antonio Ponsonelli (1654 - 1735), Bernardo et Franceso Maria Schiaffino (1688 - 1763) deviennent des artistes virtuoses couronnés de succès.

L’exubérance des formes et le raffinement du modelé du marbre présenté ici rappellent les œuvres de Francesco Maria Schiaffino, formé par Parodi à Gênes de 1721 à 1724, qui puise ses sources dans son apprentissage à Rome avant d’adapter des formes du baroque espagnol et français à son retour à Gênes. Tout comme celles de Ponsonelli, les sculptures de Schiaffino décorent aussi bien les palais d’aristocrates génois que les édifices religieux. L’un de ses chefs-d’œuvres sont ses statues monumentales de Vertus, la Fortezza, la Pénitenza et l’Obédienza, réalisées vers 1738 pour le tombeau de Caterina Fieschi Adorno dans l’Eglise Santissima Anunziata di Portoria de Gênes.

On retrouve dans notre Vénus certaines caractéristiques de Schiaffino, notamment les traits fins de son visage, au nez prononcé carré, aux lèvres fines légèrement entrouvertes, aux yeux dessinés en amande, ainsi qu’au modelé soigné de sa chevelure, retombant en boucles sinueuses attachées par un bandeau, d’où émergent quelques mèches. Son large manteau, élégamment drapé autour des épaules forme des plis profonds et laisse apparaître son sein dénudé, motif récurrent des marbres de son maître Parodi et de son contemporain Ponsonelli.