Brun Fine Art is proud to present A T aste for Sculpture V, an exhibition of important sculptures dating from the 15th to the 20th century, running from 29th June to 27th July 2018. Presented on the occasion of the summer edition of London Art Week, A T aste for Sculpture V features a fine selection of Carrara marbles, rare terracottas and bronzes, an outstanding Baroque wooden figure of Jupiter, an exceptional 19th-century Belgian ivory, and a monumental 20th-century Italian ceramic panel. The exhibition marks the fifth edition of the annual series A T aste for Sculpture, and the works are on view simultaneously at the gallery in 38 Old Bond Street and at Brun Fine Art’s stand A40 at Masterpiece London. As usual, the exhibition is accompanied by a scholarly catalogue edited by Andrea Bacchi with entries by leading art historians.
This year’s sculpture exhibition opens with two very rare 15th-century works: a Candoglia marble H ead originally decorating the exterior of Milan Cathedral, and an unusual Genoese pietra nera plaque of the Annunciation. The latter, a long, narrow relief, was originally an exterior sovraporta, a type of horizontal overdoor decoration very common in 15th-century Genoa. Another exceptional work is a dramatic terracotta bozzetto depicting St Andrew by the Italian sculptor Ercole Ferrata (1610-1686), a preparatory model for a marble statue commissioned in 1664 and intended to adorn the façade of the Church of S. Andrea della Valle in Rome. Among the highlights of our 18th-century sculptures is an extraordinary bust by the Venetian artist Antonio Gai (1686-1769) portraying Giovanni Emo (1670-1760), a prominent Venetian diplomat, in the garments of the ambassador (bailo) to Constantinople (1720-1724).
This marble bust stands out among the others for the lively rendering of the facial features, almost verging on caricature. Equally remarkable are a pair of delightful figures in pure chinoiserie style, two Pagodas by the Venetian sculptor Giovanni Bonazza (1654-1736). A large polychrome terracotta Angel by the Neapolitan Giuseppe Sanmartino(1720-1793), author of the extraordinary Veiled Christ in the Sansevero Chapel in Naples, is an exceptional masterpiece. An exquisite example of Neoclassical carving is the Vestal Virgin signed by Gaetano Monti of Ravenna (1776-1847), one of the most talented Italian followers of Canova. Other marble works include the allegory of Winter, depicted as a solemn bearded man signed by Giovanni Maria Benzoni (1809-1873), and a winged Cupid caught in a finely carved net by Ercole Rosa (1846-1893), described as the “most powerful Italian sculptor of the 19th century”.
To mark the fifth anniversary of the A Taste for Sculpture series, the gallery is delighted to present a fully illustrated and researched catalogue with a celebratory golden cover. Edited by Andrea Bacchi, professor of art history at the University of Bologna, the publication includes contributions by other prominent Italian scholars including Laura Cavazzini, Maichol Clemente, Roberto Cobianchi, Simone Guerriero and Michela Zurla. Officially presented at the opening event at the gallery on 28th June 2018, the catalogue will also be available to read online and download.