19th Century Italian Bronze Sculpture of Young Boy Signed by Vincenzo Gemito
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19th Century Italian Bronze Sculpture of Young Boy Signed by Vincenzo Gemito

About

An impressive and iconic sculpture made and signed by Vincenzo Gemito, one of the most active and talented artist of 20th century; born in Naples but he was left alone by his mother the day after he was born so he was grown up in the Annunziata orphanage and this influenced his artistic and social life. He was a completely self made man and artist and he spent his life in working in different cities and in many workshop. He was influenced by people and places but he was also an influencer and a teller of everyday life and he perfectly described emotion and sensation. He molded the terracotta piece, The Player, (Il Giocatore), one of his most famous works, when only 16 years old. It created excitement when exhibited at the Promotrice in Naples, so much so that King Victor Emmanuel II purchased it and presented it to the Museo di Capodimonte for permanent display. Gemito moved to Paris in 1877 where he found a great friend in noted French artist Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier. As he was creating new works in various media in Paris, he also exhibited his works in noted salons and galleries, and at the Universal Exposition of 1878. It was at the Paris Salon the previous year where he experienced a singular triumph, with the showing of his Neapolitan Fisherboy, which he had worked on for some years to perfect. The acclaim surrounding that work alone brought him widespread fame, and lucrative commissions for portraits. He remained in Paris three years before returning to Naples after his partner died. He went to Capri for a short time, where he married Anna Cutolo. In 1883 he once again demonstrated his determination to work outside the norm when he constructed his own foundry on the via Mergellina in Naples. He did so to revive the lost-wax process for bronze casting, which had been used during the Renaissance. In 1887, Gemito was commissioned to create a marble statue of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, to be erected outside the Royal Palace of Naples. Marble was the least liked medium for Gemito, and he fretted that this work was below his capabilities. He suffered a mental breakdown and withdrew to a one-room apartment, and spent periods in a mental hospital. For the next 21 years he worked on drawing but remained a recluse, and it wasn't until 1909 that he resumed sculpting to once again produce masterful works. In his later years, Gemito turned to gold and silver smithing, and his intricate and delicate works are much admired today. In 1952, a postage stamp was issued in Italy to celebrate the 100 years since Gemito's birth.

Details

  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    H 45 in. x W 20 in. x D 19 in.H 114.3 cm x W 50.8 cm x D 48.26 cm
  • Seller Location
    Roma, IT
  • Reference Number
    LU2433314901541
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About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Gold
1stdibs seller since 2016
Located in Roma, IT
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