8 December 2015
A PAIR OF WOOD FIGURES OF SAINTS VITUS AND WENCESLAS OF BOHEMIA
ATTRIBUTED TO ANDREAS PHILIPP QUITAINER (1684-1729), PRAQUE, CIRCA 1721
13 ½ in. (34.4 cm.) high
Acquired from Alfred Spero, London, 25 November 1955.
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London, Birmingham, Victoria and Albert Museum, City Museum and Art Gallery, Baroque in Bohemia, 10 July–14 Sept. and 3 Oct.–14 Nov. 1969, no. 13.
J. Neumann, Das Böhmische Barock, Vienna, 1970, pp. 157-159.
Quitainer is known to have made a series of models for a commission of silver figures of saints for the high altar of Sv Tomáš in Prague in 1721. The silver figures were subsequently destroyed but it is likely that the present figures are original modelli for them. The present figure of Saint Vitus is very close to the full scale wood model of the same figure still at Sv Tomáš, but with a few minor differences in the modelling that suggest that the artist was still working out how to best give life to the figures in this important commission.
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