Wednesday 23 August 2017

Soane Museum 7 - Statuette of Michelangelo by Flaxman and the busts of Michelangelo by Rysbrack

 Michelangelo Buonarotti (1475 - 1564).
 A Plaster Statuette
Paired with a Statuette of Raphael.
by John Flaxman (1754 - 1826).
Soane Museum.
and the Busts of Michelangelo by Michael Rysbrack
after Daniele da Volterra.
some notes -
Soane Museum statuettes of Michaelangelo and Raphael.
A pair of these figures were made by Flaxman for the painter Sir Thomas Lawrence but it is not known which pair. Besides those illustrated here there is a pair at the Royal Academy and there was also a pair at University College (destroyed).
From January 1837 Maria Denman the sister in law of Flaxman negotiated the acquisition with the Trustees of Sir John Soane. They were at last sent to the museum on 6th December 1838.
Michelangelo Buonarroti
Plaster Statuette
John Flaxman.
Soane Museum
Plaster Statuette
John Flaxman
Height 26 inches
Soane Museum

John Flaxman
Plaster Statuette
26.8 inches
Acquired 1909

British Museum
Sir Thomas Lawrence in his sitting room
note the two plaster figures either side of the Laocoon.
331 x 429 mm
British Museum
Plaster Bust
This bust along with a marble bust of Sir Christopher Wren and a Marble bust of Inigo Jones were presented to the RIBA in 1835 by HE Kendall.

The Busts of Michaelangelo by and after Michael Rysbrack
A Plaster bust of Michelangelo
Paired with a bust of Palladio
Se my previous post
Life Size
Private Collection

Plaster bust paired with a bust of Palladio (see below).
Life Size
Superb condition - minor restoration on the socle.

After Michael Rysbrack

George Vertue mentions a bust of Michelangelo in the studio of Rysbrack sometime before 1732 
see Walpole Soc. Journal.XXII Vertue III. p.57.

I am very grateful to the owner for allowing me to photograph this bust and its companion bust of Palladio.

Sir Joshua Reynolds and his bust of Michaelangelo.

Two portraits of Joshua Reynolds (- 1792) also depicting his much valued bust of  'Michael Angelo' 
The bust shown in these two portraits has always been referred to until now as the bust of Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra but these must be versions of the bust by Michael Rysbrack. It would appear that Da Volterra left three bronze heads with busts and three heads of Michael Angelo in his studio when he died. (see article by Jeremy Warren below).
It is my contention that the Rysbrack bust, known before 1727 and seen by George Vertue was taken from a bronze head of Michelangelo by da Volterra which was probably in his own collection and which is believed to be that bust that was acquired by Richard Cosway and is now in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford.
Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), PRA
Sir Joshua Reynolds with the bust of 'Michael Angelo'
Angelica Kaufman
oil on canvas
127 x 101.5 cms
Photograph courtesy National Trust, Saltram, Devon.
Self Portrait of Sir Joshua Reynolds wearing his robes as Honarary Oxford DCL as Presedent of the Royal Academy
with a bust of Michelangelo
Presented to the Royal Academy in 1780.
After Sir Joshua Reynolds
Self Portrait
Valentine Green
480 x 380 mm.
I Dec 1780.
British Museum.
The bust in these portraits was the last item put up for auction - Lot 78 - 19 May 1821 by Christie's the in Pall Mall, in the sale of the properties of the Marchioness of Thomond, the niece of Sir Joshua Reynolds who had died the previous year. (Article from the Globe).
There is no mention of material.
see Art in England, 1821 - 1837 by William Whitley pub. Cambridge University Press 1930.
Sir Joshua Reynolds A Complete Catalogue... Mannings, pub. Yale 2000.
The Portrait Bust of Michelangelo
By Daniele Ricciarelli Da Volterra.
Ashmolean Museum
A short essay from Renaissance Master Bronzes  ... Ashmolean by Jeremy Warren. 1999.

 Autoritratto con i busti di Michelangelo e Rubens

The provenance to Richard Cosway to my mind is perhaps now doubtful given that the bust of Micheal Angelo in this self portrait is full length and closer to the Rysbrack Model.

Illustration Courtesy Maria Cosway Fondazione, Lodi, Italy.


Head of Michael Angelo
Daniele da Volterra
Ashmolean Museum Oxford

Photographed by the author.


Michael Angelo
Bronze Medallion
58 mm
by Leone Leoni
British Museum

Woodcut portrait of Michelangelo from the offprint of Vasari's Life of Michelangelo
Michelangelo Buonarroti
engraving from
Lives of the Artists
125 x 106 mm
pub. 1550 and (this edition illustrated here) updated 1568.
Spencer Museum of Art. University of Kansas.
Portrait of Michelangelo; bust turned to l, with beard, oval Pen and brown ink
Drawing attrib. to Passerotti
Brown ink
388 x 260 mm
They say probably taken from a bust by Daniele da Volterra
British Museum
Portrait of Michelangelo, bust in profile to l; round plate  Engraving
Michael Angelo
Lambert Suavius
100mm diam
Dated 1561- within the lifetime of Michael Angelo.
British Museum.
Portrait of Michelangelo in profile facing right set within a recess after Enea Vico Engraving
Michael Angelo
After Ennio Vico
 pub. Pietro Stefanoni
245 x 186 mm
British Museum

To be continued ................

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