An Italian Bronze Bust of Il Filosofo after Vincenzo Gemito

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Circa 1890

Origin: Italy

Height: 19" (48cm)

Signed GEMITO / PROPRIETA ARTISTICA with three FONDERIA GEMITO NAPOLI

Artist Biography

Gemito was born in Naples to a poor woodcutters family. His mother, only days after he was born left him on the steps of an orphanage where he was taken. Two weeks later he was adopted by a family with an artisan father who had recently lost a child

Gemito's bust of Il Filosofo is one of his most engaging images. Inspired by the disheveled and angular face of his adoptive father, Francesco Jadicicco, and the antique, this study foreshadows the physical appearance of the sculptor himself in later life. This combination of ancient and modern sources with a deep personal affinity with his subject is what defines Gemito's style.

Il Filosofo's corkscrew curls allow Gemito to show off his consummate skill in casting bronze. An identical bust was exhibited at the Paris `Exposition Universelle' in 1900 and three years later at the Venice `Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte'

Related Literature: Chiseled with a brush, p.90, no.20; Temi di Vincenzo Gemito, p.124, no.132