Details
A BRONZE FIGURE OF THE CRISTO VIVO
WORKSHOP OF ANTONIO SUSINI, EARLY 17TH CENTURY
9¼ in. (23.5 cm.) high
Provenance
Private Collection, England.
Exhibited
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1975-1978.
C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, eds., Giambologna, Sculptor to the Medici, exh. cat., Arts Council of Great Britian, London, 1978, no. 100
Duke University Art Museum, Durham, North Carolina, 1988-1995
C. Avery and M. Hall, Giambologna: An Exhibition of Sculpture by the Master and his Followers from the Collection of Michael Hall, Esq., Salander O'Reilly Galleries, New York, 1998, no. 28A.
Giambologna and his Followers: Sculpture from the Collections of Michael Hall, Miami-Dade College Museum of Art, Freedom Tower, 9 October 2009-20 February 2010.

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Lot Essay

This gorgeous corpus figure, extremely refined in both the modeling and chased details, was included in the landmark 1978 Giambologna exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum as catalogue no. 100.

The bronze corpus figures cast by Giambologna, Antonio Susini and his other talented assistants can be split into two distinct categories; those of the Christo Vivo and the Christo Morto. The former model has Christ alive on the cross looking up to God and uttering His last words, the latter has expired with His head hanging down and eyes closed.

The present lot is of the former kind of which at least four variations exist. This model differs from the others in that it is significantly smaller, and depicts Christ with subtle variations such as the slight swaying of the torso to the left with His right shoulder raised higher than the other. This action allows the head to be thrown further back at a greater angle.

A second bronze Christo Vivo, virtually identical to the present lot except for the crown of thorns and nimbus, and also in the Hall Collection, is discussed by Avery (1998, loc. cit.) as no. 28B in the 1998 exhibition catalogue. A gilded version of the current example, was sold Christie's, London, 12 December 2002, lot 140 and a fourth example, also gilded, was sold Christie's, London, 21 April 1982, lot 114. Comparison with the former examples demonstrates the same attention to detail in the cross-hatching of the drapery, the chasing of the hair, and the modeling of the musculature.
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