Female Figure (possibly Venus, formerly titled Bathsheba)

Object Details

Title:

Female Figure (possibly Venus, formerly titled Bathsheba)

Artist/Maker(s):
Culture:

Flemish

Place(s):

Florence, Tuscany, Italy (Place created)

Date:

1571 - 1573

Medium:

Marble

Dimensions:

115 cm (45 1/4 in.)

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An unidentified nude female figure, is shown bathing in a graceful serpentine pose, characteristic of Mannerist elegance and known as figura serpentinata. The elaborate pose encourages the viewer to examine the statue from all sides. Giambologna concentrated on the aesthetics of creating an upwardly spiraling movement rather than suggesting a narrative. He contrasted the elegant contours of her smooth, attenuated body and characteristically expressionless face with her intricately carved, classicizing coiffure, drapery, and armband.

X-ray analysis has revealed a network of apparently interconnecting channels running from her raised left hand down to the base of the column upon which she sits, which suggests that the figure may once have served as a fountain.

Marble works by Giambologna are very rare, but contemporary documents discuss a statue that scholars identify with this one. In 1568 the biographer Giorgio Vasari mentioned a statue of a nude woman that Giambologna made for Bernardo Vecchietti in Florence; another biographer reported that the work was later sent to the Duke of Bavaria.

Provenance

Probably sent by Francesco de' Medici, from Florence to the duke of Bavaria.

duke of Bavaria (Munich), either Albrecht V, Crown Prince Wilhelm, or his brother Ferdinand.

Maria Elisabet Stenbock, died 1694 (Akero, county of Sodermanland, Sweden), and her husband, Axel Lillie, by descent to Christina Beata Lillie.

Christina Beata Lillie, 1677 - 1727 (Akero, county of Sodermanland, Sweden), and her husband, Eric Sparre, by descent to Ulrika Lovisa Sparre.

Ulrika Lovisa Sparre (Akero, county of Sodermanland, Sweden), and her husband, Carl Gustaf Tessin.

by 1632

King Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden, Swedish, 1594 - 1632, taken to Nuremberg in 1632 and sent to Stockholm.

by 1703

Johan Gabriel Stenbock, 1640 - 1705 (Akero, county of Sodermanland, Sweden), by 1703.

mid-1700s - early 1980s

Unknown Remained in Akero, Sweden (County of Sodermanland, Sweden), through successive owners, from the eighteenth century to the late twentieth century.

- 1982

Daniel Katz Ltd. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1982.

Exhibitions
Adriaen de Vries: Imperial Sculptor (December 12, 1998 to January 9, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 12, 1999 to January 9, 2000, (Cat.)
Bibliography

Borghini, Raffaello. Il riposo (Florence: Giorgio Marescotti,1584), vol. 3, p. 160.

Dezallier d'Argenville, A.-N. Vies des fameux sculpteurs depuis la Renaissance... vol. 2 (Paris 1787) p. 123.

Baldinucci, F. Notizie dei professori del Disegno (Florence, 1846) p. 559.

Bouchard, P. de. Jean de Bologne (1524-1608) (Paris, 1907) p. 336.

Granberg, O. Svenska Konstsamlingarnas Historia, 2. (Stockholm, 1930) p. 99, 243.

Soderberg, B.G. Slott och Herresaten i Sverige: Sodermanland (Malmo, 1968) p. 29Iff.

Lundberg, G.W. "Nagra bronser ur Carl Gustaf Tessins skulptursamling." Kunsthistoriska Tidskrift 39 (December 1970) p. 115.

Giambologna, 1529-1608, Sculptor to the Medici, exh. cat. (Edinburgh: Royal Scottish Museum, 1978), p. 72, no. 17, p. 233, no. 248.

Thornton, Peter. Seventeenth-Century Interior Decoration in England, France, and Holland (New Haven and London, 1978), p. 317-19.

"Recent Acquisitions," J. Paul Getty Museum Calendar (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, July-September 1982), unpaginated.

Avery, Charles. "Giambologna's 'Bathsheba': an Early Marble Statue Rediscovered." Burlington Magazine 125 (June 1983), pp. 340-49.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), pp. 186-87.

Avery, Charles. Giambologna: The Complete Sculpture (Oxford, 1987), pp. 54, 58, 98, 100, 241, 254-55, 274.

Keutner, H. "Die Bathsehba des Giovanni Bologna." J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 15 (1987), pp. 139-50.

Reyburn, S. "Dealers from Home." Antiques 131 (winter 1987), p. 92.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 2nd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), p. 186-87.

Bury, M. "Book Review: Giambologna by Charles Avery." Burlington Magazine 130 (September 1988), p. 706.

Melikian, Souren. "Giambologna and the Rediscovery of Sculpture." International Herald Tribune (April 1988), p. 9-10.

Arnaud, P. "L'objet d'art: Bethsabee par Giovanni Bologna." L'Estampille, no. 225 (May 1989a), p. 91-92.

"Trovata la Fata Morgana del Giambologna in un'asta di arredi da giardino." Giornale dell'arte, no. 71 (October 1989), p. 72.

Bury, M. "Giambologna's Fata Morgana Rediscovered." Apollo 131 (February 1990), p. 96-100, n. 22.

B.,G. "Round-up: The Giambologna Puzzle Unresolved." Daily Telegraph, June 18, 1990, p. 18.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 206-7.

Giambologna's Cesarini Venus, exh. cat. (Washington D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1993), p. 3, 12.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 242-43, ill.

Fusco, Peter. Summary Catalogue of European Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 26, ill.

Avery, Charles. Giambologna: An Exhibition of Sculpture by the Master and his Followers from the Collection of Michael Hall, Esq., exh. cat. (New York: Salander- O'Reilly Galleries, 1998) p. 15, fig. 2.

Scholten, Frits, et al. Adriaen de Vries 1556-1626, Imperial Sculptor, exh. cat. (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, with Waanders, 1998), p. 108, under no. 2, fig. 2b, entry by Frits Scholten.

Berger, Ursel, et al. Adriaen de Vries 1556-1626: Augsburgs Glanz - Europas Ruhm, exh. cat. (Augsburg: Städtische Kunstsammlungen, with Umschau Braus, 2000), p. 191, under no. 4, fig. 155, entry by Frits Scholten.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 242-43, ill.

Kaufmann, Thomas DaCosta. "A 'Modern' Sculptor in Prague: Adriaen de Vries and the Paragone of the Arts." In The Eloquent Artist: Essays on Art, Art Theory and Architecture, Sixteenth to Nineteenth Century (London: The Pindar Press, 2004), p. 158.

Diemer, Dorothea. Hubert Gerhard und Carlo di Cesare del Palagio: Bronzeplastiker der Spätrenaissance. Vol. 1, Darstellungen (Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 2004), pp. 104, 180, 390.

Diemer, Dorothea. Hubert Gerhard und Carlo di Cesare del Palagio: Bronzeplastiker der Spätrenaissance. Vol. 2, Dokumente, Kataloge, Tafeln (Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 2004), pp. 15, 529.

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