Satyr

Object Details

Title:

Satyr

Artist/Maker(s):

Benvenuto Cellini (Italian, 1500 - 1571)

cast by an Unknown

Culture:

Italian

Date:

1543 - 1545

Medium:

Bronze

Dimensions:

56.8 x 8.9 x 8.4 cm (22 3/8 x 3 1/2 x 3 5/16 in.)

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Though I called them satyrs, they showed nothing of the satyr except little horns and a goatish head; all the rest of their form was human .
--The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini

Satyrs from antiquity inspired Benvenuto Cellini, but his comment makes clear that he consciously discarded the characteristic pointed ears and lower body of a goat. Instead, he limited the figure's goat-like features to the face, which displays protruding horns and a savage, animal-like expression that Cellini described as "fiery and menacing, instilling fear into the beholders." Cellini designed this and a similar figure to flank the monumental entrance of Porte Dorée, the royal palace at Fontainebleau. Turning his head sharply to his left, the bearded and horned satyr gazes fiercely--with a dramatically furrowed brow; deeply chiseled eyes; full, gnarled lips; and an open-mouthed scowl--toward an unknown intruder. Cellini posed the figure with the right arm raised to support a cornice. In the left hand, a short stump suggests the thick club the figure was designed to lean on, which was evidently broken before the model was cast. The French King François I commissioned Cellini to execute the designs for Porte Dorée in the early 1540s; however, after being accused of theft in 1545 Cellini was forced to leave France. Consequently, the project was never completed. Scholars believe that in his haste, Cellini left the wax models for his design behind, and they were later cast by an unknown artist.

Provenance
- 1918

Drey Gallery (Munich), sold to August Lederer.

1918 - 1936

August Lederer, 1857 - 1936 (Vienna, Austria), by inheritance to his widow, Serena Lederer.

1936 - until at least November 26, 1938

Serena Lederer, 1867 - 1943 (Bartensteingasse 8, Vienna I, Austria), confiscated by the Gestapo (at the direction of the Zentralstelle für Denkmalscuhtz), per the order of the Wiener Magistrat, Magistratsabteilung 2, dated November 26, 1938.

after November 26, 1938 - 1945

In the possession of the Nazis, valued at 200 Reichsmarks and, by autumn 1939, stored at Zentraldepot at Neue Burg, Vienna, moved to Wollzeile (Vienna I, Austria), then moved on January 29, 1944, to Thürntal Palace, Fels am Wagram (Lower Austria), a location under the control of the Allied Russian troops as of May 8, 1945; released to the Republic of Austria.

by June 14, 1946 - June 22, 1948

Austrian Government, returned to Wollzeile 1 (Vienna I, Austria) by June 14,1946 and restituted to the son of Serena Lederer, Erich Lederer, on June 22, 1948.

June 22, 1948 - 1985

Erich Lederer, 1896 - 1985 (Geneva, Switzerland), by inheritance to his widow, Elisabeth Lederer.

1985

Mrs. Elisabeth Lederer (Geneva, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Exhibitions
Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and the Renaissance in Florence (May 27 to September 5, 2005)
  • National Gallery of Canada, (Ottawa), May 27 to September 5, 2005
Donatello, Michelangelo, Cellini: Sculptors' Drawings from Renaissance Italy (October 23, 2014 to January 19, 2015) (27)
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, (Boston), October 23, 2014 to January 19, 2015
Related Media
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