The J. Paul Getty Museum

Cardinale Seduto

Object Details


Cardinale Seduto


Giacomo Manzù (Italian, 1908 - 1991)







Object Number:



215.9 × 116.2 × 135.9 cm, 308.446 kg (85 × 45 3/4 × 53 1/2 in., 680 lb.)


© Inge Manzù

Credit Line:

Gift of Fran and Ray Stark

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Object Description

The stylized clothing of this serene, seated cardinal creates a dramatic pyramidal form. An unbroken conical sweep, the cardinal's vestment or robe extends from his feet to his mask-like face. Covering his forehead, his headdress, known as a miter, functions as the "tip" of the pyramid. The folds in the vestment emphasize the bronze's weight and volume but also create tension and dynamism, enlivening the form. A tiny hand emerges from beneath the garments to remind us that there is a body beneath this powerful bronze cladding. But body and vestment form an indissoluble whole.

In the early 1930s, Giacomo Manzù visited Rome, where the sight of the Pope flanked by two cardinals in St Peter's Basilica struck him as a singularly timeless image. From the late 1930s to the late 1950s, the sculptor produced more than fifty cardinals--standing and seated, large and small, in bronze, alabastar, and marble. Over this long series, Manzù increasingly contained the cardinal figure in rigid compact forms that evoked funerary pyramids or pillars. With only one exception, the cardinals were all conceived without a model, their features invented entirely by the artist.

- 1979

Jeffrey H. Loria and Co., Inc., sold to Fran and Ray Stark, May 19, 1979.

1979 - 1992

Fran Stark and Ray Stark, upon the death of Fran Stark, retained by her husband, Ray Stark, 1992.

1992 - 2004

Ray Stark, upon his death, distributed to the Ray Stark Revocable Trust.

2004 - 2005

The Ray Stark Revocable Trust, donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum.


Boström, Antonia, ed. The Fran and Ray Stark Collection of 20th-Century Sculpture at the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), pp. 114-17, no. 17, entry by Christopher Bedford.