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Post Lot Text
A TERRACOTTA GROUP OF HERCULES AND ATLAS SUPPORTING THE GLOBE
BY GIOVANNI ANTONIO RIMONDI (OR RAIMONDI ACTIVE 1707-1747), 1707
Each figure depicted nude, Atlas standing and Hercules kneeling; on an integrally modelled naturalistic base, the reverse of the globe open and signed 'Gio: Antonio Rimondi fece: 1707'; repairs, minor chips
This unusual and appealing terracotta group is the earliest work so far identified of G. A. Raimondi, whose name is recorded twice in the standard work on Bolognese sculpture as a decorative stuccoist. First, in 1734 he re-made a pair of stucco medallions of St John the Evangelist and St Dominic on the altar of San Domenico, Bologna, but his efforts were destroyed within three years. Secondly, in 1747, Raimondi was employed on stuccowork in San Pietro, Bologna.
The emergence and recognition of the present group extends his activity back to 1707 and - assuming that he was probably at least twenty years old when he modelled and so proudly signed it - suggests a lifespan of at least sixty years, from around 1687-1747. Further research in the archives of Bologna may reveal more details of the artist's career.
The unusually youthful appearance of the protagonists may have been suggested by the sculptor's own age and - if this is the case - this work may have been intended to function as a morceau de reception in an academy in Bologna, rather as in the system employed by the Royal Academy in Paris. As no other works by him in terracotta or marble are recorded, it may be that he found employment as a stuccoist the only avenue of advancement.