19th Century, Italian White Marble Sculpture by Pompeo Marchesi with Cupid, 1840
This valuable sculpture, made in white marble in 1840, is a work signed by Pompeo Marchesi.
It represents a Cupid who writes. The cupid is the mythological personification of the god Love, depicted in poetry and art with the appearance of a child, mostly naked and winged. In this work appears lying prone on a soft drapery from which comes out a redundant composition of flowers. The cupid turns or looks forward to if lifting on his left arm; with his right hand he is intent on writing on a parchment. The feet, slightly raised, recall the childish attitude and contribute to give movement to the figure.
The work is representative of the romantic artistic expression of the famous Italian sculptor Pompeo Marchesi. Pompeo, son of Gerolamo Marchesi and Caterina Tamburini, was born in Saltrio (near Varese) on 7 August 1783. After a first training at the Brera Academy in Milan, he perfected in Rome under the guidance of Antonio Canova. Returning to Milan in 1810, Marchesi started the long activity for the construction of the cathedral, marking the beginning of an extraordinarily intense career. He won numerous awards, participated in the annual exhibitions of Brera, was very active in the decoration of large works of urban furniture including the Arco del Sempione in Milan and the Cathedral of Como. With the Restoration, Marchesi acquired considerable credit and soon became one of the leading interpreters of the Habsburg court, establishing himself internationally.
Appointed “Imperial regio statuario di corte” in 1838, thanks to the offices of F. von Hartig, Governor of Lombardy, Marchesi obtained directly from the Emperor Ferdinand I the commission of the monument for the Vienna Hofburg.
The retirement from the Brera Academy in 1852 coincided with the beginning of the descending parable of the artist, who Stendhal had defined in the Certosa di Parma (1839) the "fashionable sculptor" of Lombardy. Marchesi died in Milan on 7 February 1858.
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