b. about 1680, d. before 1745
Many art historians consider Cipriani as the most gifted bronze sculptor of his generation in Florence. Before his works Venus de' Medici and the Dancing Faun were first published in 1998, together with a number of other bronzes cast for the Earl of Macclesfield, the artist was little known, although several documents about his activity had been previously published. Notably, in 1709 Cipriani assisted his teacher, Massimiliano Soldani Benzi (1656-1740) in casting four figures for the Duke of Marlborough's collection at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. These works were inspired by ancient sculptures that had been on display in the Uffizi collection in Rome since the second half of the 1600s.Historical records also show Cipriani supplying plaster casts to a variety of British tourists, including the noted writer Horace Walpole. Walpole was one of Cipriani's last customers, and made note of the artist's death in his correspondence.Cipriani's work is significant in the history of collecting in 18th-century England. In the case of the Getty Museum's two particular bronzes, it was also carried out with the utmost attention to detail, as it was specifically commissioned rather than purchased on the local market.
Venus de' Medici