Sunday, August 30, 2020

An ideal worthy of imitation

 Mercury, the messenger of the gods, is typically depicted as a youth with wings on his hat or feet.  This monumental bronze statue, commissioned by Lorenzo Ridolfi in 1549 and completed in 1551, formerly stood at the center of the courtyard of the Palazzo Ridolfi in Florence. The inscription on the base states that the "Florentine friends Zanobi Lastricati and Ciano Compagni made the figure in order to learn." The latter was a perfume-maker employed by the duke of Florence, and, on the basis of an ancient marble sculpture of Mercury, he made a model which Lastricati then used for casting the bronze.  The inscription expresses the idea that the sculptures of antiquity represented an ideal worthy of imitation.  - The Walters Art Museum

Image: Mercury, bronze, 1551, after a Roman Imperial Period original, by Zanobi Lastricati that I photographed at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland in 2015.

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