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A BRONZE MODEL OF A PACING LION
A BRONZE MODEL OF A PACING LION

ATTRIBUTED TO GIANFRANCESCO SUSINI (1592-1646), AFTER A MODEL BY GIAMBOLOGNA, SECOND QUARTER 17TH CENTURY

Details
A BRONZE MODEL OF A PACING LION
ATTRIBUTED TO GIANFRANCESCO SUSINI (1592-1646), AFTER A MODEL BY GIAMBOLOGNA, SECOND QUARTER 17TH CENTURY
On a later rectangular marble base; extensive remains of a reddish-gold lacquer
5½ in. (13.6 cm.) high; 8¼ in. (20.5 cm.) high, overall
Literature
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
E. Dhanens, Jean Boulogne, Giovanni Bologna Fiammingo - Douai 1529 - Florence 1608, Brussels, 1956, p. 215.
Frankfurt, Museum alter Plastik in der Schirn Kunsthalle, Die Bronzen der Fürstlichen Sammlung Liechtenstein, 26 Nov. 1986 - 15 Feb. 1987, no. 21, p. 182.
C. Avery, Giambologna - The Complete Sculpture, Oxford, 1987, no. 142, p. 269, fig. 315.
A. Radcliffe, The Robert H. Smith Collection - Bronzes 1500-1650, London, 1994, no. 12, pp. 70-73.

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Lot Essay

The present bronze pacing lion is a variant model by Giambologna that was was listed by Dhanens (loc. cit.) in a 1587 inventory of Medici belongings at the Villa Maggia near Pistoia. That lion is probably identical with one presently in the Bargello. Both the Bargello example and another in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna - formerly in the collection of the Emperor Rudolph II - are thought to represent the earliest examples of the model, cast by Giambologna's most famous founder, Antonio Susini. They have an integral bronze oval base, and a tail which curves forward at the end.

The present bronze is closely comparable to examples in the Robert H. Smith Collection and the collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein (locs. cit.). All three differ from the lions mentioned above in the lack of a bronze plinth, and the tail which curves back at the end instead of forward. Both the Liechtenstein and Smith bronzes are attributed to Gianfrancesco Susini, the nephew of Antonio, who is known to have continued producing examples of Giambologna's model after the master's death (Radcliffe, loc. cit.). The beautiful modelling and exquisite surface treatment suggest that the present bronze is by the same hand.

Another example, also attributed to Gianfrancesco, was sold at Christie's, New York, 18 October 2002, lot 363 for $95,600.

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