2 December 1997
A BRONZE GROUP OF THE FARNESE BULL
Italian, probably Roman, 18th or 19th century
On an integral, naturalistic base and a separate bronze plinth decorated with scrolling foliage.
Medium, greenish brown patina.
19 in. (48.2 cm.) high
24½ in. (62.2 cm.) high, overall
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F. Haskell and N. Penny, Taste and the Antique - the Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500-1900, New Haven and London, 1981, no. 15, pp. 165-167, fig. 85.
The original marble after which this bronze was cast, was excavated in 1545 from the Baths of Caracalla and gained immediate fame both for the complexity of its composition and the enormity of the marble block from which it was carved, which measures over 12 feet tall. It derives its name from the fact that it formed part of the Farnese collection of antiquities, although it was removed from the Palazzo Farnese in 1788 and transported to Naples where it is now kept in the Museo Nazionale (Haskell and Penny, loc. cit.).
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