PIETRO BAZZANTI (Italian, 1825-1895)
La bagnante
signed 'P. Bazzanti/Florence' (on reverse), on a verde antico marble pedestal
56 in. (142.2 cm.) high, the figure
8814 in. (224.2 cm.) high, overall
Executed in 1900.
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Lot Essay

With its sprawling studio and depth of talented apprentice sculptors, the hugely successful Florentine studio of Pietro Bazzanti e Figlio catered to a decidedly international clientele and specialized in genre scenes and allegorical figures as well as copies of antique and Renaissance sculpture. In 1861, the studio was awarded the medal for sculpture in the National Exposition in Florence and operated within the family at their gallery on Lungarno Corsini until the mid-twentieth century. Their clientele included European and Russian aristocracy, and the industrial fortunes being made in England and America drove considerable export demand.
Bazzanti frequently returned to the subject of The Bather in his works, having carved examples of bathing Venus after the Antique and in dynamic and dramatic compositions such as the present lot. This finely-detailed work relates closely to popular figures produced by Bazzanti’s contemporary, Cesar Lapini, whose La Sopresa depicts a young woman stepping back from approaching waves. The sculptor’s penchant for realism is on full display with the contrasting matte and highly-polished finishes of the gently lapping waves at the figure’s feet, to the jutting rocks and soft skin. Elegant handling of textures is further exemplified in the draped fringe of the cloth. This monumental and fine work is illustrated in situ at Bazzanti’s studio circa 1900 among other fashionable works of the period.

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