Friday, December 8, 2006

ROME, second half 16th Century, A pair of bronze busts of Roman Emperors, WORKSHOP OF GUGLIELMO DELLA PORTA (C.1515-1577)

..16th Century Bronze bust of Roman Emperor
Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus
16th Century Bronze bust of Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar
ROME, Second half 16th Century, A pair of bronze busts of Roman Emperors, Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus and Gaius Julius Caesar. Workshop of GUGLIELMO DELLA PORTA (C.1515-1577), related to models by WILLEM VAN TETRODE (C.1525-1580)
measurements notecaesar: 28cm., 11in. vespasian: 29cm., 11 3/8 in.

thin casts with integral socles and applied cartouches inscribed CÆSAR and T.VESPA, looking to their left with togas fastened over the right shoulder (2)

These busts are cast from models belonging to a series of twelve emperors conceived by Tetrode in Rome in the mid-sixteenth century. They were modelled circa 1559, when Tetrode received his first independent commission to decorate a cabinet for Niccolò IV Orsini, count of Pitigliano. The Pitigliano cabinet mounted bronze reductions of the most celebrated antiquities of Rome, including a set of twelve emperors. Tetrode, whose work was heavily influenced by classical sculpture, based his busts on marble models by della Porta, in whose workshop and foundry he was employed in the 1550's. The moulds probably remained there, for an inventory drawn up after della Porta's death, in 1578, refers to forme de duodeci imperatori picchole. That further casts were made after Tetrode's departure, differing slightly in facture and finish, is therefore quite likely.The Pitigliano cabinet, which passed into the possession of Grand Duke Cosimo I of Tuscany soon after its completion, is now lost but the original bronzes, including the busts, survived and are now in the Uffizi, Florence. The mannerist cartouches bearing the names on the present bronzes, cast and attached separately, differ to the originals which replicate the standard double-scroll name plates common to antiquity.

RELATED LITERATURE Scholten (2003), pp.24-5, ills.19-22; Lanciani, p.265
Sale: L06233 Location: London, New Bond Street, Auction Dates: Session 1: Fri, 08 Dec 06 10:30 AM, LOT 93 26,400 GBP
PROVENANCE: Private collection (SDK)
(Formerly Chateau de Groussay, FRANCE)