6 December 2017
FRANCESCO BERTOS (VENICE 1678-1741), CIRCA 1700-1715
NEPTUNE AND AMPHITRITE
32 ¼ in. (82 cm.) high
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S. Guerriero, ‘Francesco Bertos’, De Stefano Maderno à Joseph Chinard, Paris, 2014, pp. 46-49.
C. Avery, The Triumph of Motion, Francesco Bertos (1678-1741) and The Art of Sculpture, Turin, 2008.
Francesco Bertos produced distinctive, small-scale sculptural groups, in which elongated twisting figures are represented in seemingly weightless poses. Typical of his groups is the bronze Triumph of Chastity (London, Victoria and Albert Museum) with several allegorical figures arranged in a boldly dynamic pyramid. Bertos devised inventive and complicated compositions with technical brilliance and his small statues were unlike anything else in contemporary Venetian sculpture. The present group shows Neptune, the god of the sea, his foot placed on a dolphin, and clutching Amphitrite, a sea-nymph who became his wife. Both figures have their pupils marked and irises incised, a stylistic trait typical of Bertos’s production in marble.
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