5 July 2007
A BRONZE FIGURE OF CUPID SLEEPING
ATTRIBUTED TO FRANCESCO FANELLI (FL.1608-?1661), FIRST HALF 17TH CENTURY
Depicted reclining on a lion's pelt and a club; on an integrally cast rectangular naturalistic base and later spreading marble plinth painted with the inventory number '148'; blackish brown patina with warm chocolate brown high points
9 7/8 in. (25cm.) long; 12 in. (30.5 cm.) long, overall
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F. Russell ed., The Loyd Collection of Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, revised edition 1991, no. 148, pl. 78.
London, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Splendours of the Gonzaga, 1981-1982, no. 279.
When a simplified example of this bronze was catalogued by Anthony Radcliffe for the exhibition Splendours of the Gonzaga it was attributed to Francesco Fanelli both on stylistic grounds and the fact that two other examples were signed 'F' and 'FFF' for Franciscus Fanellius Florentinus. The bronze records a now-lost antique marble which was acquired by Charles I of England from the Gonzaga art collection which was attributed to Praxiteles at the time (Splendours of the Gonzaga, loc. cit.). As court sculptor to Charles I, Fanelli would have had access to the marble. He was presumably commissioned by a courtier, or the king himself, to produce a reduced version in bronze.
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