Renaissance & Baroque Bronzes from the Hill Collection, edited by Patricia Wengraf. This meticulously researched catalogue, which has entries by Denise Allen, Claudia Kryza-Gersch, Patricia Wengraf, Dimitrios Zikos, and technical reports by Rupert Harris, accompanies an exhibition shown solely at The Frick Collection, New York, from 28 January to 15 June 2014.

The Hill Collection of over thirty Renaissance and Baroque bronzes, collected since 1996 and from 2000 with the help of Patricia Wengraf, is of exceptional quality and exemplifies the development of the bronze statuette from 1470-1740. The Hill Collection includes rare masterpieces by early Italian sculptors such as Andrea Riccio, and its holdings of works by Giambologna and his followers are the strongest found in any single collection, with the sole exception of the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence. Four great bronzes by Giuseppe Piamontini and a group by Ferdinando Tacca evoke the Florentine Baroque, while the international Baroque is represented through religious themes by Alessandro Algardi and Hans Reichle. Earlier bronzes by northern sculptors include great works by Adriaen de Vries, Tetrode, Hubert Gerhard and Casper Gras, while a remarkable group of works made in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Barthélemy Prieur, Hubert LeSueur and François Girardon, demonstrate the French preference for bronzes in the classical mode. 

All are lavishly illustrated in this 376 page catalogue (ISBN 978 1 907372 63 6), which is available internationally through specialist art bookshops and websites. It may also be purchased from The Frick Collection.  

 

Patricia Wengraf’s article, “LeClercq’s marble group of Eros and Anteros fighting over a Heart” in Barocke Kunststückh Festschrift für Christian Theuerkauff/Sculpture Studies in Honour of Christian Theuerkauff, Eds. R. Marth & M. Trusted, Munich, 2011, pp. 185-189; addresses the origin of the popular and much reproduced model of Two Cupids Fighting over a Heart, which has been variously attributed to Houdon, Boizot, Broche, Pigalle and Falconet. Wengraf identifies the invention of the model with François-Joseph LeClercq (1755-1826), as demonstrated by the marble group of Eros and Anteros fighting over a Heart, now Philbrook Museum of Art at Tulsa (inv. no. 2004.4, h. 45 cm), which is signed and dated 1780. Replicas in bronze, ceramic and marble of this popular model only first appear after 1780. In 1779 LeClercq studied with Louis-Simon Boizot, but had returned to Namur by 1784. A terracotta bust now in the Musée de Groesbeeck-de Croix, Namur, which is signed and dated 1802 by LeClercq, provides a comparison of his signature. When LeClercq exhibited the marble group of Eros and Anteros Fighting over a Heart in 1818 at the Salon de Bruxelles, he asserted his authorship of the model then described as "Deux amours luttant pour un cœur; groupe en marbre blanc."

 


  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
François-Joseph LeClercq (1755-1826), Eros and Anteros fighting over a Heart, now Philbrook Museum of Art at Tulsa (inv. no. 2004.4, h. 45 cm), photograph by Prudence Cuming Associates.

Patricia Wengraf’s recent article, “A bronze Bacchus wearing a Silenus mask, made for Antonio Londonio,” in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 151, January 2011, pp. 13-21, reveals exciting new archival discoveries about this unique bronze, as well as a possible attribution to the young Adriaen de Vries. The article sheds new light on patronage and the competition for commissions in Renaissance Milan, as although visual evidence strongly suggests that the bronze was designed and modelled by de Vries, the founder Giovanni Andrea Pellizzone claimed the work as his own when his associate Pellegrino Tibaldi was put on trial for bribery. Originally displayed in Antonio Londonio’s garden, the Bacchus/Silenus was sold before 1601 by his heirs to the Visconti Borromeo family, who installed it in their villa at Lainate. Designed as a fountain, this powerful bronze demonstrates the inventive genius and bold fluid modelling of the young de Vries seen in his works made in the 1590s. New research on the Bacchus/Silenus as an important new addition to the artist’s oeuvre will be published in a forthcoming essay.

 


Attributed to Adriaen de Vries, Bacchus/Silenus, c.1579-80, bronze, 89.5 cm, private collection, USA, photograph by Maggie Nimkin. 


 

In her essay The Status of ‘Signatures’ found on Giambologna’s Marbles and Bronzes. What do they imply?, Patricia Wengraf has adopted a fresh approach to the study of Giambologna’s sculpture.

Wengraf’s essay tests the notion that Giambologna’s bronze statuettes bearing inscribed or engraved ‘signatures’ should be regarded either as autograph works or the prime version. Through scrutiny of the signatures themselves, all of which are illustrated, the survey challenges long-held beliefs about the chronology and status of a number of the most famous bronzes by this great sculptor.

The article appears in German in the catalogue of the exhibition Giambologna. Triumph des Körpers, which took place at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (27 June – 17 September 2006). Wengraf also contributed entries in this catalogue for Giambologna’s Fata Morgana, Sleeping Nymph, Astrology, Mars and Astronomy.

These texts are also available on request in English. For further information, please email contact@patwengraf.com with your name and contact details.

 
Giambologna, Nessus and Deianira
(detail showing signature),
San Marino, Huntington Library and Art Gallery
(inv. no. 17.13). Author's photo.
 
       

Illustrated is a detail of Giambologna's Mars from the Quentin Collection (cat. no. 10).
Cast before 1577, probably by Fra Domenico Portigiani. Bronze, height 39.6 cm
European Bronzes from the Quentin Collection, by Manfred Leithe-Jasper and Patricia Wengraf, accompanied an exhibition held solely at the Frick Collection, New York, from 28 September 2004 until 2 January 2005.

This is a lavishly illustrated, meticulously researched catalogue of an important exhibition of nearly forty figurative sculptures, mainly bronzes from the 15th - 18th centuries. This fine collection of sculpture reveals the extraordinary invention and technical refinement characteristic of works made when the tradition of the European statuette was at its height.

Through a unique combination of an academic's and a dealer's expertise, this catalogue offers new insights into the study of European bronze statuettes, and benefits from many years' experience and connoisseurship in the field. While the authors' conclusions regarding attribution and dating coincide with only a few exceptions, their unusually frank exchanges make for a stimulating read.

The catalogue (ISBN 1 85149 472 3) is available internationally through specialist art bookshops and websites. It may also be purchased from the shop of The Frick Collection.
 
 
     
Patricia Wengraf
List of Publications
 
2014 Renaissance & Baroque Bronzes from the Hill Collection, with Denise Allen, Claudia Kryza-Gersch, Dimitrios Zikos and Rupert Harris, London, Paul Holberton Publishing, 2014. 

2011
   
"LeClercq's Marble Group of Eros and Anteros Fighting over a Heart," in Festschrift für Christian Theuerkauff. Barocke Kunststückh/ Sculpture Studies in Honour of Christian Theuerkauff, edited by Regine Marth and Marjorie Trusted, Munich, Hirmer Verlag, 2011, pp. 185-189.

2011       
"A bronze Bacchus wearing a Silenus mask, made for Antonio Londonio," The Burlington Magazine, vol. 153, January 2011, pp. 13-21.
 
2009
Catalogue and Exhibition Review of French bronzes, Renaissance to Revolution, exh. cat., edited by G. Bresc-Bautier & G. Scherf, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 22 October 2008 –19 January 2009; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 24 February – 24 May 2009; Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, 30 June – 27 September 2009 in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 151, no. 1271, February 2009, pp. 120-121.
 
2009
 
Book Review of Bertos: The Triumph of Motion by Charles Avery, in The Burlington
Magazine, November 2009, p. 780.
 
2006

Essay, Zur Bedeutung der “Signaturen” an Giambolognas Marmor–und Bronzefiguren," in Giambologna. Triumph des Körpers, exh. cat., Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 27 June – 17 September, 2006, pp. 103 – 139.

   
2006 Catalogue entries in Giambologna. Triumph des Körpers, exh. cat., Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 27 June – 17 September, 2006, Nos 1, 9, 10, 12 & 17.
   
1997
Book and Exhibition Review, Pajou. Sculpteur du Roi 1730-1809, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 20 October 1997 – 19 January 1998), Art Book Review Quarterly, Winter 1997/1998.
   
1995 Entry on Mercury and Cupid by Francesco Fanelli in Von allen Seiten schön. Bronzen der Renaissance und des Barock, exh. cat., edited by V. Krahn, Berlin, Altes Museum, 31 October 1995 – 28 January 1996, p. 410, no. 133.
   
1994 Entries and Biographies on Francesco Bertos (no. 59), Antonio Corradini (no. 58), Pietro Danieletti (no. 156), Orazio Marinali (nos 16, 17), Giovanni Maria Morlaiter (no. 178), in The Glory of Venice. Art in the Eighteenth Century, exh. cat., ed. J. Martineau and A. Robison, London, Royal Academy of Arts, 15 September – 14 December 1994, Washington DC, National Gallery of Art, 29 January – 23 April 1995.
   
1994Book Review, “Donatello. Catalogo completo delle opere. (I Gigli dell'Arte), by Charles Avery, (Florence, 1991), Art Book Review Quarterly, Spring, p. 2.
  
 
1993

Book Review, “Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum. 1540 to the Present Day”, Art Book Review Quarterly, Spring.

   
1992 Entries and Biographies on Francesco Fanelli (nos 128-131 & pp. 610-611), Kunst in der Republik Genua 1528-1815, exh. cat., Frankfurt, Schirn Kunsthalle, 5 September – 8 November.
   
1992 “La Scultura e gli Oggetti d’Arte”, Fair Catalogue of Antiquariato Internazionale, Milan, April.
   
1991

Book Review of Canova. Scultore Pittore Architetto a Possagno, by Franco Barbieri, Art Book Review Quarterly, December.

   
1990 Letter to the Editor, Apollo, June, pp. 438-39.
   
1988 “Jan-Baptiste van Helderberghe as a Maker of Bronzes”, The Burlington Magazine, no. 1029, vol. 130, December 1988, pp. 913-915.