Offered by Galerie Sismann
European old master sculpture
This very beautiful female bronze highlights the biblical heroine Judith, a young widow of Bethulia who saved her people from the grip of the Assyrian tyrant Holofernes by beheading them, thus restoring the faith of her tribe in God.
Produced in Venice at the end of the 16th century, our work bears witness to the enthusiasm of the Renaissance man for this vengeful beauty, a young woman coming to the end of a tyrant on her own, provoking astonishment, admiration and terror in the faith. "Judith represents the victory of weakness over brute force of arms and the victory of feminine charm and skill over the violence of masculine means. But the biblical heroine is not only differentiated from the Assyrian harshness because she also stands out, by her daring and her action, from the lack of courage of the Grand Council of the city, which preferred passive waiting. ”(Lisa Quérat,“ Les representations italiennes du mythe de Judith en peinture et au théâtre de la Renaissance au Baroque », Cahiers d'études romanes, 27 | 2013, 375-391).
The prototype of our bronze, used also for a similar version of our bronze listed in the collections of the Bode Museum in Berlin, is attributed to the great Venetian sculptor Girolamo Campagna. Renowned artist trained in the studio of Danese Cattaneo (1512-1572), Campagna develops a powerful and luminous sculpture, served by a particularly expressive technique. Inheriting from his master a certain taste for decorative detail, he knew how to combine, in a purely Venetian style, the ancient influences and those of northern Italy, already announcing for certain specialists, in his own way, the beginnings of the Baroque art. Within his figures, coexist an obvious power of forms, a certain freedom of movement, and the grace of the line, so many qualities synthesized by our Judith.
Small bronzes like ours enjoyed a considerable fortune during the Renaissance with a wealthy clientele, captivated by their charm and vitality. They join the studioli of collectors, these places of erudition, learning but also of virtue and glory, where bronzes were offered in the privacy to the delight of amateurs. Designed as ornaments, they also served as a trigger to initiate discussions or reflections. In these cabinets, our Judith embodied the humanist ideals of glory and virtue, while offering through her great sensuality the possibility for the scholar to distract himself and thus escape the melancholy, inevitably aroused, in the thought of the time, by prolonged study.
9 000 €
12 000 €