No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT payable at 19.6% (5.5% for books) will be added to the buyer’s premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis
Post Lot Text
A BRONZE FIGURE OF THE NEGRO VENUS
AFTER JOHANN GREGOR VAN DER SCHARDT (CIRCA 1530-1581?), 17TH CENTURY
Depicted nude, standing in contrapposto, formerly gazing into a mirror in her right hand, now lacking; on an integrally cast oval plinth and later cylindrical ebonised wood socle; dark brown patina with warm medium brown high points; minor damages
The statue of the Negro Venus is one of the most frequently discussed small bronzes from the Renaissance. For a long time this subject was regarded as being Italian, and connected to various sculptors such as Giambologna, Cellini, Ammanati, Vittoria, Prieur or Cattaneo. However, recent studies have now attributed the bronze to the German artist Johann Gregor van der Schardt (Krahn, loc. cit.).
The inspiration for the Negro Venus can possibly be related to a drawing by Albrecht Dürer from 1505/1507, depicting the figure of a naked woman with similar posture and gestures holding a piece of fabric in her left hand and a mirror in her right, with a turban around her head (illustrated in Weihrauch, loc. cit.).
In terms of finish and detail the bronze figure of the Negro Venus offered here relates closely to an example in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Krahn, op. cit., p. 324). The present bronze features several proportional and compositional details that very closely reflect the cool and elegant style of Schardt's small bronzes: the elegant, slim and 'boneless' form of the figure with elongated neck and thighs, the arms held away from the body and holding an object in the hands, the flowing lines of the modelling that give an appearance of gracious movement. It is also worth noting, as Ursel Berger pointed out in her entry for the Berlin exhibition, that Johann Gregor van der Schardt cast the model with a particular plinth for his time: an integrally cast, thick and oval base, as can also be seen on the present bronze.