A MONUMENTAL ITALIAN CARRARA MARBLE OVER-LIFE-SIZE GROUP OF THE RAPE OF A SABINE WOMAN, ON PEDESTAL
Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s F… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTION
A MONUMENTAL ITALIAN CARRARA MARBLE OVER-LIFE-SIZE GROUP OF THE RAPE OF A SABINE WOMAN, ON PEDESTAL

AFTER GIAMBOLOGNA, BY BRUNO NERI, DATED 1929-1930

Details
A MONUMENTAL ITALIAN CARRARA MARBLE OVER-LIFE-SIZE GROUP OF THE RAPE OF A SABINE WOMAN, ON PEDESTAL
AFTER GIAMBOLOGNA, BY BRUNO NERI, DATED 1929-1930
The solid marble square paneled pedestal with bronze relief-cast plaque to the front depicting the Rape of the Sabine Women, the left side carved 'MIT FLEISS UND LIEBE/AUS EINEM BLOCK/CARRARA MARMOR GEMEISSELT/FUER J.A. ROGENMOSER/OKTOBER 1929 - JULI 1930/MAESTRO BRUNO NERI, SCULTORE', the right side carved 'AUS LIEBE ZUR SCHOENHEIT/UND UM FREUDE AN KUNST/MIT VIELEN MENSCHEN ZU TEILEN/BESTELLT IM SOMMER 1929 BEI/MAESTRO BRUNO NERI, SCULTORE/J.A. ROGENMOSER, ZURICH'
154.½ in. or 12 feet 10.½ in. (392.5 cm.) high overall
Provenance
The inscription states that this marble was commissioned by J. A. Rogenmoser, Zürich.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 23 September 2010, lot 80.
Special notice

Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.

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Lot Essay


This colossal marble group of 'The Rape of a Sabine Woman' is an over-life-size copy of Giambologna's original created between 1581 and 1583 and today preserved in the Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence. The group was universally celebrated and as a result copies and reductions have been created ever since. To Giambologna it was a group which allowed him to demonstrate his skills of composition, a group that could be viewed from virtually every angle and was astonishing in its use of complex spiraling forms.
The rape of the Sabine women was a popular subject in art, particularly in the Renaissance period, because it gave artists the opportunity to depict complex scenes with numerous figures in action. It recalls the story, recounted by Livy and Plutarch, of the early days of Rome when, to ensure the survival of the community, Romulus organized a festival to which he invited inhabitants of neighboring settlements including the Sabines. At a pre-arranged signal the Roman soldiers carried off the unmarried Sabine women. Although the Sabine men were later to attack Rome for this treachery, the Sabine women themselves came running to the scene of battle, many holding their new-born children, begging the two sides to call a truce and thus establishing peace.
The skill of an accomplished sculptor is clearly evident in the scale and quality of this group. However little is known of Bruno Neri other than that he exhibited at the Societa della Bella Arti in Florence in 1912 and at the Venice Biennale in 1920 (A. Panzetta, Dizionario Degli Scultori Italiani Dell'Ottocento, Turin, 2003, vol. II, p. 650).

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