Statuette, "The Wrestlers" - ROM2004_1029_19


Statuette, "The Wrestlers"

Maker: Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi (Italian, 1656-1740)
Medium:Bronze, hollow cast; golden brown patina
Geography: Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Date: 1705-1708
Period: Baroque
41.3 x 53.7 cm
Object number: 978.180.1
Credit Line: Gift of Ian Ross. Certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Attestée par la Commission canadienne d'examen des exportations de biens culturels en vertu de la Loi sur l'exportation et l'importation de biens culturels.
Not on view
DescriptionMassimiliano Soldani-Benzi (AD 1656-1740) was one of the last great bronze sculptors in Florence, his work culminating a tradition of bronze casting and bronze sculpture which began with Lorenzo Ghiberti and Donatello in the early 1400s. Soldani-Benzi was a pupil of the Grand Ducal Academy in Rome founded by the Medici. Well known for coin-making and creating medallions, he also brought the Florentine tradition of the bronze statuette into harmony with the prevailing Baroque style. Among his most notable contributions in this area were the series of "Old Master" statuettes based on sculptural masterpieces of Antiquity in the Medici collections. Made between 1694 to 1711 AD, they included documented reductions in bronze after the Hellenistic marble "Wrestlers" on display at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. This bronze was acquired by the Rosses from the Heim Gallery in London. The composition derives from the antique marble sculpture found in Rome in 1583 and sent to Florence in 1677. Baroque copies in bronze have been associated with Soldani-Benzi and G.B. Foggini. The bronze from the Ross Collection was formerly attributed to Foggini but has been re-attributed to Soldani on stylistic grounds. The Soldani attribution is also based in part on Herbet Keutner's discoveries of two bronzes of The Wrestlers provided for Alamanno Salviati around 1709. Soldani's bronze reductions after the marble original relate to a series of statuettes of 1694-1711 and later based on "Old Master" originals in the Uffizi. The ROM bronze is possibly the second of two linked with Salviati, and may date therefore from 1705-1708.
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