A Fine Statuary Marble Figure of ‘The Crouching Venus’ After the Antique
A Fine Statuary Marble Figure of 'The Crouching Venus' After the Antique, By Pietro Bazzanti, (Italian, 1825-1895). Signed 'P. Bazzanti / Florence'. Modelled...
DimensionsHeight: 87 cm (35 in)
Width: 47 cm (19 in)
Depth: 35 cm (14 in)
Weight: 130 kg
A Fine Statuary Marble Figure of ‘The Crouching Venus’ After the Antique, By Pietro Bazzanti, (Italian, 1825-1895).
Signed ‘P. Bazzanti / Florence’.
Modelled in the round carved from a single block of marble. Crouched on one knee, her body gently contorted and leaning slightly forward with her right arm reaching over her left shoulder and extending, a ewer at her feet, on an integral rectangular base with canted corners.
The surface is carved so as to render the skin lifelike and the waxed finish reveals the original patina which has an attractive milky white colour.
In the world of sculpture, few works capture the imagination and evoke a sense of timeless beauty like the Crouching Venus. Among the notable renditions of this ancient masterpiece, the present figure stands out as a testament to the skill and artistry of its creator—Pietro Bazzanti.
“The Crouching Venus” was a Roman sculpture believed to have been created during the 1st century BCE to the 1st century CE, inspired by earlier Hellenistic works. Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, held immense importance in ancient Roman society, making this sculpture a significant representation of cultural and mythological beliefs of that era.
In his ‘Naturalis Historia’ the Roman author Pliny the Elder, describes a statue of Venus herself, made by Doidalses and placed in one of the temples of the Portico d’Ottavia in Rome. Many scholars believe this statue to be the source for the many imitations in existence, which include versions in the Louvre, Paris; the Museo Nazionale delle Terme, Rome; the Uffizi, Florence; the Vatican Museums, and the Royal Collection (acquired by Charles I).
Bazzanti’s figure most closely resembles the marble in the Vatican Museums dating from c.200BC-100BC, which was excavated at Salone in the eighteenth century (and engraved soon after by Francesco Piranesi). This version differs from others in the positioning of Venus’ fingers, which are outstretched rather than touching her left arm.
This beautiful rendition exudes a remarkable sense of harmony and balance. Bazzanti’s attention to anatomical accuracy evident in the graceful curves and soft contours of the figure, lending a naturalistic quality to the sculpture; the marble itself seems to come alive under his skilled hands, radiating a sense of fluidity and movement. Its presence serves as a reminder of the enduring appeal of classical art and the transformative power of sculpture in capturing the essence of beauty.
Italy, Circa 1860.
Pietro Bazzanti was one of the leading marble sculptors working in Italy in the nineteenth century. He specialised in allegorical subjects as well as pieces inspired by Antique and Renaissance sculpture.
His gallery in Florence, Pietro Bazzanti e Figlio, originally Bazzanti’s studio, was established in 1822 as a showroom for his work. Bazzanti exhibited with success at many of the great international exhibitions of the period, including the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876 and the Boston exhibition of 1883.
Regarded as one of the most talented sculptors of his day, his studio became a centre for other important sculptors such as Ferdinando Vichi, Cesare Lapini and Guglielmo Pugi. Such was the high regard in which he was held, that many of these sculptor’s works are inscribed ‘Galleria Bazzanti’.
In addition to sculpture the Bazzanti workshop was also known for the production of spectacular specimen marble table tops for the grand tour.
Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny, ‘Taste and the Antique’ (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981), pp.321-3.