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Lot n° 18

PADERNI de Camillo (1720-1770)...

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PADERNI de Camillo (1720-1770) (Surroundings of) "Horse at the walk, according to the ancient model of the Quadriga of Herculaneum". Bronze with a medal patina and traces of original gilding. Base in yellow marble of Siena. Naples, around 1750-1770. H.50 L.50. Certificate of Professor Mario Scalini, former curator at the Bargello Museum in Florence, curator at the Stibbert Museum Certificate of Jan Roelofs. Exhibition: "Histoire du Cheval dans l'Art", Musée du Cheval de Course, Château de Maison-Lafitte (France) 2001, ill. p. 20 of the catalog. This exceptional horse in bronze with a medal patina bears traces of gilding. It was made after the model of the Quadriga of Herculaneum kept in the Archaeological Museum of Naples, whose bronze fragments were discovered in the famous ancient city in 1739. They were entrusted to Camillo Paderni, designer, curator and restorer of the works discovered on the excavation site. He succeeded in restoring the ancient horse to a size exceeding two meters in height. The animal we present adopts the gait of a walker, with its right front leg raised. The elegance of the gait and the head carriage are rendered by the remarkable quality of the chasing and patina visible on the mane, neck and eyes. When the antique bronze was discovered, the Bourbons, who ruled the city of Naples at the time, were very reluctant to allow reproductions of this type of sculpture; these were much more numerous after the Reunification of Italy in 1860. The work we present is in no way an overmolding of the ancient original in terms of its dimensions. In addition to the fineness of the chasing, the horse is covered with very beautiful traces of gilding. All of these elements suggest that the author of our sculpture had the express permission of the Court to produce it in reduction at a time when this model enjoyed a great reputation among enthusiasts. It is thus likely that this sculpture was commissioned directly by a member of the Bourbon family, perhaps King Charles III himself, as a diplomatic gift. These clues lead us to believe that the author of this bronze was an artist who was close to the court and who knew the antique original perfectly well, i.e. a member of Paderni's workshop or of his entourage.

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