Antico (Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi) (Italian, Mantua ca. 1460–1528 Gazzuolo)
ca. 1500–1505
Italian, Mantua
Bronze, partially gilt and silvered
Overall (confirmed): H. 14 5/8 x W. 7 3/8 x D. 7 3/4 in. (37.1 x 18.7 x 19.7 cm); Alternate dimensions, positioned with legs and chest fully frontal (confirmed): W. 5 3/4 x D. 8 7/8 in. (14.6 x 22.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Edith Perry Chapman Fund, 1955
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 536
The artist's adopted nickname, Antico, refers to his lifelong work revitalizing and perpetuating the sculpture of antiquity. He is known above all for bronze statuettes of exquisite detail and refinement that reproduce compositions of famous classical statuary. Though a prototype has not been identified, this robust nude-among his largest statuettes-probably represents the Trojan prince Paris deciding which of three goddesses was the most beautiful. He chooses Venus, giving her his golden apple. The smooth flesh, elegantly chased features, and gilt and silvered highlights are good indications of why Antico's best bronzes remain among the most sought-after of all early Renaissance statuettes.
[ Piero Tozzi (until 1955; sold to MMA) ]