carved and gilded wood
This singular sculpture depicts a fantastic beast, with its disproportionately long neck, eagle’s head and lion’s claws. The gryphon, half bird and half lion, is a recognizable mythological figure from medieval times.
This carved and gilded wood, optimally preserved, presents some difficulties in critical analysis, as it is untethered from all context, and appears to be stylistically isolated. However, the quality of the carving and the painterly elements that adorn the feathers carved on the wings is indubitable.
The classical structure of the claws and the eternal Gothic spirit visible in the head, that somehow seems to descend from medieval bronzes, evokes a Northern artist, possibly acclimated in Italy towards the end of the sixteenth century.
Northern sculptor, 16th century
Dated: 1580-1600 circa