Exceptional Carved Carrara Marble Figural Group of a Bacchante with a Putto
20th century, after a model by Prof. Donatello Gabbrielli (Italian/Florence, 1884-1955), the followers of Dionysus caught mid-celebration holding hands, the elegant female figure with grapes in her hair and a castanet in one hand, together with a custom carved wood pedestal; accompanied by a letter of sale stamped by the U.S. Consul.
h. 80", w. 28", d 36", pedestal h. 22-1/2"
Provenance: Galleria Pietro Bazzanti e Figlio, Florence, 1998; Private collection, New Orleans, Louisiana.
This sculpture has been acknowledged by the Galleria Pietro Bazzanti e Figlio.
Notes: Born into a working class Florentine family, Donatello Gabbrielli revealed an innate artistic ability at a young age. While his family's financial situation prevented him from enrolling in one of of the prestigious art academies, with his parent's encouragement he eventually entered the studio of Cesare Fantacchiotti (Italian, 1844-1922) as an apprentice/student. Flourishing in the studio's strict and regimented environment, Gabbrielli soon became the sculptor master's most promising student - in fact, upon Fantacchiotti's death, Gabbrielli inherited the studio. He began exhibiting, nationally and internationally, and won numerous awards and accolades for his allegorical and mythological depictions of the female form.
The impressive figural grouping presented here reveals Gabbrielli's mastery of the difficult and uncompromising medium of marble. The sophisticated composition of the slightly twisting body of the woman with one elegantly extended arm, the delicate modeling of the facial features, and the ability to create a sense of textural variation are all indicative of a true master.
In 1955 Gabbrielli was honored by being appointed Professor at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Florence, the oldest art school in the world.