18K (750) gold brooch, decorated with a polychrome... - Lot 26 - Rossini

Lot 26
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Estimation :
3500 - 5000 EUR
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Result : 25 000EUR
18K (750) gold brooch, decorated with a polychrome... - Lot 26 - Rossini
18K (750) gold brooch, decorated with a polychrome micromosaic representing Dante. Roman Italian work of the 1860s, French setting. Dimensions: 6 x 5.5 cm approximately. Gross weight : 54,6 g The micromosaic that we present is of a rare quality and in an exceptional state of conservation. Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), the subject of this work, is depicted here as on Raphael's fresco in the Room of the Signature in the Vatican Palace in Rome. Slightly ¾, crowned with laurel, head covered with a toque, Dante is dressed in a purple cloak. Here, the artist has used with great mastery the tesserae in cameos to make this portrait. This one is placed in the heart of a halo of shades on a brown background. His features are particularly precise, the character is depicted in the strength of age and his determined character, inspired by the fresco of Raphael, is particularly well reproduced here. The laurels, the toque and the gown are depicted in great detail, giving a striking realism, like a snapshot. The provenance of this work, given the source of inspiration, is certainly Roman. And it is in Rome that the largest workshops of micromosaicists were located. Another clue leads us to a Roman origin, it is the quality of the tesserae which are matte here. It was in Saint Peter's that the manufacture of glass paste and opaque and matt enamels was perfected to distinguish it from the shiny Venetian tesserae. An attribution is however much more difficult to give, no accessible element allows us to evoke this artist rather than another. As for the dating, we can assume the 1860s and more precisely 1865, which marked Dante's birthday. This celebration gave rise to numerous representations, including the exceptional micromosaic made by Luigi Podio for Castellani, now kept at Villa Giulia in Rome. The art of the portrait in micromosaic is rather rare, the themes of predilection are more turned towards the views of Rome of which one brought back memories during the big journeys or other Grand Tours, the nature or the antiquisite themes. The work that we present is consequently of a big singularity. The art of the micromosaic draws its origin from the mosaic itself, technique which appeared, it seems, in the Middle East and was widely used in the Greeks and Romans, as a decorative element in its own right. Later, it continues to be present in Christian buildings, on the ground and in the apses of churches in Europe and the Near and Middle East. Later still, the Vatican State created in 1727 a school dedicated to this discipline. At the end of the century, the craftsmen explored the field of the tiny and the micromosaics which offered new prospects of customers when the usual work comes to miss. The subjects of predilection for the prestigious customers such as the sovereigns, aristocrats or middle-class people are religious or inspired by nature; whereas those intended for the tourists carrying out their Grand Tour illustrate the Roman life, the flowers, the animals, the heroes of Antiquity. Roberto Grieco, Micromosaici romani, Roma 2008. Anna Maria Massinelli, Giacomo Raffaelli (1753-1836) Maestro di stile e di mosaico, Firenze 2018 We thank Mrs. Anna Maria Massinelli for her contribution in the dating of the presented work.
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