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L. Planiscig, Venezianische Bildhauer der Renaissance, Vienna, 1921, p. 471, figs. 493-4
L. Planiscig, Die Bronzeplastiken, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 1924, no. 186
H. R. Weihrauch, Europäische Bronzestatuetten, Braunschweig, 1964, p. 252, pl. 305.
M. Leithe-Jasper, Italienische Kleinplastiken, Schloss Schallaburg Vienna, 1976, no. 156
M. Leithe-Jasper, Renaissance Master Bronzes from the Collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, London, 1986, no. 41

Lot Essay

The present group is an unpublished second example of a rare group in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. The Vienna group came from the Imperial Cabinet of Antiquities of 1808. The rider of the Vienna group is cast separately, as is the one in the present group, but the drapery is differently arranged and less obtrusive. Planiscig saw Venetian characteristics in that example, and included it in the oeuvre of a hypothetical 'Master of the Haggard Old Men'.
More recently Dr Leithe-Jasper (op. cit.) has drawn attention to the group's closer connection with sketches by Leonardo da Vinci for his rearing equestrian monument in Milan. Leithe-Jasper states that the stocky and heavy contours of the horse are similar to those used by Leonardo, and therefore, a Milanese origin is conceivable. He also noted similarities between the "fresh, almost sketch-like modelling" of the barbarian rider and some male figures in distended poses on a bronze candelabrum in the Certosa di Pavia, which is by Annibale Fontana (cf. E. Pettorelli, Il bronzo e il rame nell'arte decorativa italiana, Milan, 1926, fig. 169).
Leithe-Jasper therefore suggested a tentative attribution to Fontana. The elongated limbs, with sharply bent elbows and knees of the present Barbarian certainly resemble those of the youthful, nude angels at the corners of the base of the candelabrum by Fontana (op.cit. Weihrauch).


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