REF NO : B76101

Cesare Lapini

‘Rosa Senza Spine’ – A Fine White Statuary Marble Figure

Italy, Circa 1900





Height: 129 cm (51 in)
Width: 37 cm (15 in)
Depth: 33 cm (13 in)
REF NO : B76101


Cesare Lapini (Italian, 1848 – after 1893)
‘Rosa Senza Spine’ or ‘Nymph Entwined in a Rosebush’
White statuary marble.

Modelled in the round carved from a single block of marble. Her right hand holding aloft rose garland. Standing with her left leg raised, plucking a thorn from the heel of her left foot. On a circular integral base caved with a rosebush.

Carved in the round from a single block of marble, ‘Rosa Senza Spine’ is an exquisitely balanced piece which shows extraordinary skill, a rare survivor showing the sculptural virtuosity of the Florentine school at the close of the nineteenth century.

Italian, Circa 1900.

Probably the stand of ‘E. and C. Lapini Bros. and Sons’ at the St. Louis World’s Fair, Missouri, 1904.



Circa 1900




White Marble

Cesare Lapini

Cesare Lapini was part of the highly successful Florentine school of sculptors of the late nineteenth century which included Vittorio Caradossi, Fernando Vichi and Pasquale Romanelli. They supplied a significant quantity of marble sculpture to an increasingly international cliental during the late 19th century. Continuing in the tradition of the Grand Tour, European aristocracy, alongside a new class of industrialists, entrepreneurs and financiers from the Americas visited Florence buying allegorical and genre sculpture, works after the Antique and portrait busts.

Lapini and his family established sizeable workshop and gallery premises in Florence and exhibited at the Esposizione Generele Italiana in Turin in 1884 and in Rome in 1888 before expanding internationally by participating in the Great Exhibitions and Worlds Fairs. Fratelli Lapini were awarded a diploma at an exhibition of contemporary Italian Art in London in 1888 which was presided over by the King of Italy and H.R.H the Prince of Wales. Lapini put on a dazzling display at 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle and an equally impressive stand at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair in the name of ‘E. & C. Lapini Bros & Sons of Florence’ receiving a Grand Prize for their statue ‘First Quarter of the Moon’.

Favouring allegorical and mythological subjects of beautiful women, Lapini was praised for the realism of his graceful statues which make fantasies come to life. As was the practice of the time, popular works were exhibited and made to order so invariable more than one example were produced. The attribution of ‘Rosa Senza Spine’ to Lapini is made with reference to another example signed ‘C. Lapini Firenze’ (sold Sotheby’s, London, 1 March 1996, lot 219) and a photograph showing this composition as part of Lapini’s display at the 1900 Paris Exposition universelle.


Probably the stand of ‘E. and C. Lapini Bros. and Sons’ at the St. Louis World’s Fair, Missouri, 1904.

The Missouri Athletic Club, Downtown Clubhouse, 405 Washington Ave., St. Louis, USA.

The Missouri Athletic Club, which opened its doors on 13 September 1903 and played pivotal role hosting dignitaries from around the world who were visiting St. Louis for the 1904 Olympics and World’s Fair. The present-day Downtown Clubhouse opened its doors on March 1, 1916 with a gala celebration attended by 5,000 people. The new clubhouse, a 10-story facility, was grander than the original.



Comparative Literature:

Angelo de Gubernatis, Dizionario degli Artisti Italiani Viventi: pittori, scultori, e Architetti, 1889, page 256.


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