Hilde Lotz-Bauer


The Flemish artist Giambologna or Giovanni Bologna (1524-1608) was summoned to Bologna in 1563 to create a great city fountain with the statue of Neptune there. Yet the Bozzetto in bronze (Bologna, Museo Civico) draws attention thanks to its impressive muscles, the torsion of the body, the resemblance with the ancient world and not least because of the expressive head, which Kriegbaum compared to Michelangelo’s Moses. Putti and dolphins which spout water are borrowed from the style of the classical world. Giambologna’s small bronzes, which helped to justify his world fame, were created based on the original models and given to friends of the Medici as presents. In contrast, the figure of Apollo shown here is not a reproduction, but an original model, which was erected around 1573 in Francesco de’ Medici’s Studiolo. Even for this niche figure, Giambologna used the principle of multiple perspectives. The line of the “figura serpentinata” suggested here refers to his main work, the rape of the Sabine women (Loggia dei Lanzi, 1583). Luca Grimaldi, from Genoa, commissioned Giambologna to complete six life-size figures of the Virtues for the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Genoa, of which the robed figure of Charity, made in 1579, can be seen today in the entrance hall of the University of Genoa.


Upper part of the body of Apollo

Rear view of Apollo


Head of Neptune

Statuette of Caritas

Caritas with an infant

© KHI in Florence | 16.01.2021 18:52:15