Colnaghi Collections_Vol 01 - Page 83



IX
GIOVANNI MARIGLIANO,
KNOWN AS GIOVANNI DA NOLA
Marigliano, Nola; documented from 1508 – died between 5 August 1551 and 25 April 1553
Mars
ca. 1545
Marble
74 x 48 x 23 cm
PROVENANCE
The bust, cut at the height of the chest and resting on a double
Possibly Fernando Ramón de Cardona,
voluted pedestal, carved from a single block of white Carrara
2 Duke of Cardona (ca. 1470-1543).
marble, depicts a warrior, probably an allegory of Ares, the
Thence by descent.
Greek god of war, son of Zeus and Hera, known to the Romans
nd
as Mars. The striking and intense psychological depth portrayed
LITERATURE
here is that of someone going into battle, focused, thoughtful,
Unpublished
and concentrated on a distant objective; he contracts his chin
and tightens his lips allowing, only for an instant, a sense of
unease to pass over his features.
The pronounced classicizing character of the work is evident in
the Roman armour, with a gorgon placed at the centre of the
breastplate; this is nearly obscured by the paludamentum (military
cloak), fastened by a rosette-shaped clasp, and covering only the
left upper arm. A strap consisting of leather pteryges rests on the
opposite shoulder, while a knotted ribbon, decorated with a Greek
motif and rosettes, hangs from the shoulder flaps, joining to a ring
at the level of the nipple and running under the arms.
This type of bust and its decorative cuirass recall the Julius Caesar (h.
68.5 cm) in the Metropolitan Museum (fig. 9.1), New York, dated
1512-1514 and attributed to the Florentine sculptor and pupil
of Andrea del Verrocchio, Andrea di Piero Ferrucci (ca. 14651526).1 This artist played a significant role in the development
of early Mannerist sculpture in Florence where he was employed
in the workshop of Santa Maria del Fiore. He was also active in
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