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In conjunction with the exhibition Bernini: Sculpting in Clay (on view October 3, 2012–January 6, 2013), Jennifer Montagu, Honorary Fellow, The Warburg Institute, London University, outlines the history of bozzetti, modelli, and copies by various sculptors, including Bernini. Preliminary models were used by sculptors to sketch their designs, but sometimes, artists used the work of assistants or even other artists in order to create their full-scale sculptures.
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Alexander I of Russia
Virgin and Child
Young St. John the Baptist
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 555
Commissioned by Count Anatoly Nicolaevich Demidoff.The subject is a complex, cosmological allegory best described in the sculptor's own words: "Stretched out upon the plan of the world is Cupid, god of generation, sustaining and watching over the symbolic genius of dissolute wealth without virtue, who snores in his sleep . . . dreaming of past diversions in pleasure. Left to himself, the genius of ambitious rectitude in work sleeps the agitated sleep of misfortune and glory. . . his head extending beyond the periphery of the world."The original plaster is in the Gipsoteca Bartoliniana, Florence.
Signature: Signed, and dated (on side of quiver): Bartolini fece 1845 Firenze [executed by Bartolini 1845 Florence]Inscription: On side of quiver: Di commissione del principe / Anatolio Demidoff [Ordered by the prince/Anatole Demidoff]
Commissioned by Prince Anatole Demidov , Villa San Donato, near Florence (1845–d. 1870; his sale, March 4, 1870, no. 228; to Loubat for Fr. 3,400); Joseph H. de Loubat , Paris, (1870–1903; his gift to MMA)
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