L. Planiscig, 'Simon Bianco', in Belevedere, V, 1924, pp. 161-52
J. Pope-Hennessy, Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum,, London, 1964, no. 545, fig. 543
R.A. Branstator, 'Simone Bianco', in The Dictionary of Art, London/New York, 1996, vol. 3, pp. 923-24 (with earlier literature, but unaccountably omitting any reference to his figurative work)
Bianco was born in Tuscany but spent his career in the Veneto; his earliest commission -- for four marble reliefs of Old Testament scenes for Treviso Cathedral -- dates from 1512, but was never completed. Most of his subsequent output consisted of classicizing portrait-busts in marble or bronze; several of the male ones were anachronistically signed in ancient Greek, for the benefit of their humanist sitters (e.g. Louvre and Vienna Museums). They have affinities with the work of the premier family of sculptors active in Venice at the period, the Lombardo, particularly with Antonio. One such bust, of Signora Nicol Molino, is referred to in a letter of 1548 to Bianco from Aretino, who cited the prestigious opinions of Titian and Jacopo Sansovino.
The statue offered here was attributed by Plansicig to Bianco when it was on the art market in Rome around 1920 (op. cit. p. 162, fig. 5). It was said formerly to have been paired with the signed putto with a torch in the Palazzo degli Albizzi in Florence. Its rectangular base, subject and treatment are certainly similar and thus, according to Planiscig, attributable to Bianco, as was confirmed by the Director of the Bargello, Giacomo de Nicola. In view of the piping of the goose's neck to emit water, the statue is an early example of the class of sculpture intended for fountains and gardens, which was much popularized in Florence in the 1540s by Tribolo and Pierino da Vinci for the ornamentation of the gardens of Cosimo de Medici's Villa Il Castello outside Florence. If the alleged provenance from the Albizzi palace in Florence is true, it may be that Bianco supplied the statue and its pair from Venice for use in some fountain in the palace courtyard or garden: it might then be seen as a prototype for the similar themes that featured at Castello.