Thursday, October 22, 2015


Statue May Be a Lost Work by Donatello




Art dealer and Renaissance scholar Andrew Butterfield and several other experts he has enlisted now believe the statue is a lost work by Donatello, one of the defining artists of the Renaissance, and a rare example of the artist’s work in wood, making the discovery not only a major addition to Donatello’s surviving corpus but also to the history of Western sculpture.
“It felt so much like the embodiment of the early Renaissance,” he said recently. He passed on making an offer [at an auction sale]. But the gilded figure of a plump, graceful cherub, or putto, nagged at him, and when he finally did buy it, in 2012, it set him off down an art-historical detective trail that made him glad he followed his instincts.
Francesco Caglioti, one of the world’s pre-eminent Donatello scholars, who also contributed an essay to the catalog making a case that both Mr. Butterfield’s sculpture and the Boston sculpture are by Donatello, wrote that several factors — the placement and style of the wings, most of which are now lost; a peculiar carved headdress; and the stance of the putti, almost on tiptoe on the right foot — all point to such a conclusion.
“I believe that we can safely attribute to Donatello not only the invention and design” of both, he wrote, “but also the personal responsibility for their execution in his workshop and directly under his eyes, for a decorative project he devised and followed through to its completion.”
That project, possibly for a palace or church sacristy, would have placed several putti, linked by carved festoons, along a ledge around a room, like a kind of high-end, three-dimensional wallpaper, a scheme Donatello is believed to have invented, inspired by Eros figures he knew from ancient Roman reliefs. 
The invention, and the way Donatello recovered and transformed elements from classical antiquity, was immensely influential among other artists in the early Renaissance. Read more.
Source: The New York Times, Randy Kennedy, October 21, 2015

3 comments:

another country said...

Et moi qui voulais mettre quelque chose d'un peu original sur mon sapin de Noël...

JiEL said...

Moi je le mettrais SOUS mon sapin...

Il doit valoir une petite fortune.. LOL !!

another country said...

Je pensais le placer tout en haut, sur le highest bough, comme il est dit dans la chanson...