Pair of terra cotta medallions


Andrea Brustolon (1662 - 1732)

 

Rare pair of terracotta medallions or tondi

In their original black lacquered wood frame

 

Italy, Vénétie, Belluno, approx. 1710-1720.


Diameter : 10” 7/8 in.

 

One of the medallions signed to the reverse of the initial A.B

Handwritten inscriptions under the frame:


S. Andrea Apo ; And Brustolon f. ; A.Brustolon f.

 


Each medallion represents a bearded and draped male character seen with half-length and treaty in high relief. The first, the hands united in prayer, is illustrated of three-quarter face; his head, slightly raised, is girded of a bandeau tied around the face; in the back a structured construction makes it possible to identify the character: it is the Saint-Pierre Apostle, that Jesus named Kepha, “stone” or “rock” in Aramaic (see a group out of wood carved of Brustolon appearing “La libération de Saint-Pierre » preserved at Worcester Art Museum and studied in J.D. Draper, Brustolonia, in Antologia di Belle Arti, 23-24, 1984, p.84-89). The second is his brother, the Saint-Andrew Apostle, represented in profile, in full meditation and heavily pressed on the cross, instrument of his martyrdom, from which one distinguishes only the low part. The ecstatic character of Saint-Pierre answers the solemnity of Saint-Andrew. The compositions, perhaps inspired by the Venetian painting of time, stress the figures of the two apostles and on their monumentality. To date, the original destination of these two sculptures could not be found. However, we know that Brustolon worked at that time in the church Saint-Pierre de Belluno, place even where he was buried; it is then probable that these two tondi initially intended to be used as models for the decoration of this church remained with the state of modelli and remained in the workshop of the sculptor. They appear thus like two of the last beautiful pieces of this virtuoso sculptor.

 


Andrea Brustolon makes the pride of Belluno, his birthplace perched on the mountains in the north of Venice. In the middle of the years 1670, he perfected his formation in Venice in the workshop of Filippo Parodi (1630-1702), then in Rome as from 1677 when he impregnated style of Bernin. As at ease in the realization of profane subjects as religious, his work nowadays is primarily known by his creations going back to his Venetian period during which he realised seats, frames and groups out of carved wood whose exuberant compositions are revealing of a late baroque and an exceptional stylistic freedom. However this Venetian period reflects only part of his career, which will culminate in the last decade of 17th and the first quarter of the next century, when Brustolon resided at Belluno and worked with important private orders or intended for the Church. It is of this period, marked by wiser of the sculptor arrived at the top of his art, which date the extraordinary pair of terra cotta medallions presented which can be compared in the style with a low-relief appearing Saint-Jerome, in the past in the Agosti collection (catalogue of the exhibition, Andrea Brustolon 1662-1732 Il Michelangelo del legno ”, written by A.-M. SPIAZZI, M. DE GRASSI et G. GALASSO, Skira, Belluno, Milano 2009, p.258, fig.125).