8 December 2015
A PAIR OF BRONZE ALLEGORICAL GROUPS DEPICTING AIR AND FIRE
FIRE AFTER THE MODEL BY FRANCOIS LESPINGOLA (1644-1705), FRENCH, 18TH CENTURY
On an integrally cast rectangular naturalistic plinth
16 ½ and 16 in. (42 and 40.5 cm.) high
In the family collection no later than 1860, and by descent.
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Minneapolis, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Sculpture from the David Daniels Collection, Oct. 1979 - Jan. 1980, pp. 28-29, fig. 7.
J. Auersperg, Daniel Katz, European Sculpture, London, 1998, p. 82, fig. 38.
The model for the allegory of Fire has long been believed to be by the Florentine sculptor Giovanni Battista Foggini but is now firmly attributed to François Lespingola. This attribution is based on the comparison with the group of Hercules delivering Prometheus purchased by Leplat in 1715 for Augustus the Strong (now in Dresden) and more globally with the whole series of The Labours of Hercules by Lespingola. This French artist stayed for ten years in Italy where he was influenced by Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi and Foggini, noticeable on his sculptures with the movement of drapery and elegance of gesture.This model was probably created for a set of marble figures depicting the Four Elements, which was not realized (Auersperg, loc. cit.). A similar model was previously in the David Daniels collection (loc. cit.).
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