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Tornabuoni Arte

S047

Venus and Cupid
Lombardy, late 16th century
Sculpted silver-plated wood with gilt details.
altezza cm. 140


This Venus, her sinuous body only partially modestly covered by a twisted drapery, seems to echo one of the most fascinating creations of Giambologna, the bronze figure representing the same goddess (1570-72) which originally crowned the so-called Fiorenza fountain of the Medicean villa of Petraia. The mannerist grace of the Flemish artist who worked in the capital of the Grand Duchy is echoed by this work, which was most probably realized in Lombardy during the next few decades. The fact that the work comes from this region may be inferred from the fact that Venus - on which Cupid, recognized by the quiver at his side, is leaning - is not resting her foot on a vase as in the case of the Florentine sculpture, but on a shield with scrolls inside which we recognize the Pallavicino Visconti coat of arms. The latter is divided in four parts and may be read thus: nel 1 e nel 4 a cinque punti doro, equipollenti a quattro di rosso (alias dazzurro) (Pallavicino), nel 2 e nel 3 dargento alla biscia di azzurro ondeggiante in palo, coronata doro, ingolante per la met un putto di carnagione posto in fascia e con le braccia distese (Visconti). The centre of the gilt division is marked by a red chess-square.



Tornabuoni Arte