Monday 17 September 2018

Francesco Fanelli - Portrait busts and other works (Part 1).

Francesco Fanelli (c. 1577 - d.1660's?).
"Francisco the One Eyed Italian". 
Portrait busts and other works.
Part 1.

The genesis of this work was the invitation to put together a catalogue of the 17th and 18th century portrait sculpture at Oxford University suggested to me by Dana Josephson of the Bodleian Library.
The bronze bust of Charles I by Hubert le Sueur in the Bodleian Library was one obvious starting point but in order to make any sense of it I felt it was necessary to attempt to understand the sculpture industry in 17th century England.

Ultimately I would like to be able to make some sense of the bronze portrait sculture of the 17th century and this will entail looking at the careers of the Fanellis, Besniers, Le Sueur, Dieussart, Larson, Bushnell etc. There has in the past been some confusion in these works of these sculptors - particularly between Le Sueur and Fanelli.

A few notes.

I was inspired to put these notes together by Simon Stock who had contacted me with regard to the works of the Besniers. Simon Stock contributed the entry on Fanelli Junior to the Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain... Yale 2009.

As has happened with many of my blog entries, what at first appeared to be a fairly simple task turned into something far more complicated than I had previously anticipated.

The Fanellis certainly appear to have produced numerous small bronzes in the first half of the seventeenth century both Italy and in England after 1631.

What follows is just a selection of the many small bronzes by or attributed to Fanelli.

For the Besniers see my blog entries -


Francesco Fanelli was a Florentine Sculptor who was working in Genoa by 1608 until 1631 when he came to England.

E. D. Schmidt, “Giovanni Bandini tra Marche e Toscana”, Nuovi Studi. Rivista di arte antica e moderna, vol. 6, 1998 anno III, pp. 57-103, pp. 75 & 102, n. 236 notes that Fanelli’s baptismal certificate records his birth in Florence on 17 December 1577.

First wife Lucretia, Giovanni Battista Fanelli (Baptised 5 August 1605 in St Agnese, Genoa) a further 5 children were christened in the same church between 1612 and 1623.

For the early work of Fanelli in Genoa see -

Basilica of the Sanctuary of Savona, close to Genoa Northern Italy;  4 of 6 Angels on the the façade which was designed by Taddeo Carlone di Rovio in refined late-Mannerist forms and was completed between 1609 and 1615: the use of coloured marble and the chiaroscuro effects of the sculptures, performed by Carlone (St. John the Baptist, St. John the Evangelist), Leonardo Mirano and Francesco Fanelli (musician angels, Madonna and Child).

see -

His son Giovanni Battista Fanelli  trained in his fathers workshop and appears to have accompanied his father to England or at least as far as the Spanish Netherlands, where he appears to have resided 1630/1 - by 1633/4, he was in London and working in Oxford 1633/4 - he had left England by 1644. 

Giovanni Battista Fanelli returned to England by April 1663 when Charles II issued a Royal Warrent granting him "ye sum of £40 pr ann for and towards ye charge, and of providing a fit and necessary working place, & other accomodations for ye performance of our servicein his profession" TNA Callender of State Papers Domestic Charles II (1663/4), 9, 334. He signed his will with "a very frail hand) 15 March 1672 and died soon after (City of Westminster Archives, Act book 70, 509).

Abraham van der Doort's inventory of the collection of Charles I calls him "ffrancisco the one-eyed Italian". The king had a St George and the Dragon and a Cupid on Horseback in black patination among 36 small bronzes in the cabinet room at Whitehall Palace. George Vertue noted that the outstanding horseman and connoisseur of the riding academy, William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle at Welbeck, had a number of Fanelli's horse statuettes.

Details of Fanelli’s eventual fate remain uncertain.  According to the eighteenth-century engraver and antiquary George Vertue, Fanelli was said to have 'livd and dyd in England'.

It was later assumed that he left the country close to the outbreak of the Civil War, in around 1641, when he is thought to have fled to France along with other artists. Engravings of his designs for fountains and grottoes were published in Paris in 1661, and in Cornelis de Bie’s biography of artists dated 1661 Fanelli is described as still living. It is possible that that there is some confusion between him and his son which needs to be clarified.

He appears to have had an assistant called John Bank who according to Horace Walpole was still alive in 1713.


About 1736, George Vertue compiled a short list of “so many of this little Statues as I have seen at Ld Oxfords”; the list includes several horse subjects, among them “a horse full gallop” that is very likely a bronze of this composition. Another of the type is in the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Brunswick.

[James D. Draper, 1984]


[1] See J. Pope-Hennessy, “Some Bronze Statuettes by Francesco Fanelli,” Burlington Magazine XCV (1953), pp. 157–62.

[2] Walpole Society, Vertue Note Books: IV, The Twenty-Fourth Volume of the Walpole Society, 1935–36, p. 110.


For a fairly comprehensive look at the life of Fanelli see

I have not yet had the opportunity to look at  - Kunst in der Republik Genua, 1528-1815,Entries and Biographies on Francesco Fanelli (nos 128-131 & pp. 610-611), by Patricia Wengraf   exh. cat., Frankfurt, Schirn Kunsthalle, 5 September – 8 November.1992

I have previously briefly touched on the bust of Charles I in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

I certainly do not pretend to be an expert on any sort of bronze - this post is simply an attempt to collate known or attributed works of Francisco Fanelli whilst he was working in England and to put his work into some sort of perspective.


For a very useful Catalogue on a small equestrian bronze of Charles I, prepared for Altomani and Sons of Milan by Charles Avery in 2011. see -

see -

The Altomani Bronze  Equestrian Figure of Charles I.
Bronze with dark varnish.
19.4 x 15.5cms.
on later base


Probably one of the "twelve bronze figures and groups on the bookcases" mentioned in an inventory of 1807 of the collection of Nathaniel Clements, 2nd Earl of Lietrim at his hous at Killadoon, Co Kildare Ireland, first mentioned with certaintly in an inventory of Killadoon of 1836 "bronze figure on horseback upon a black marble pedestal"
Thence by descent to Charles Clements Esq.


Equestrian Statue of Gaspar de Guzman, known as the Count Duke of Olivares
Attributed to Fanelli
39 cms.
Sale 7 December 2016.

A. Darr, Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Detroit Institute of Arts, London, 2002, vol. 2, no. 134. P. Wengraf, European Bronzes from the Quentin Collection, exh. cat., 2004, pp. 31-53 and 207-209. S. Stock, ‘Fanelli, Francisco (b. 1577)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, online edn, Jan 2008, [, accessed 17 Oct 2016] COMPARATIVE LITERATURE: W. Valentiner, Bulletin of Detroit Institute, 1935, vol. XV, no. 3, pp. 34-38. W. Bode, revised by J. Draper, The Italian Bronze Statuettes of the Renaissance, New York, 1980, pl. CLXXXII.


Cyril Humphries, Sotheby's, New York, 10 January 1995, lot 62.


Equestrian Statue of Gaspar de Guzman, known as the Count Duke of Olivares
attrib. Fanelli
Bronze Overall width inc base 30.5 cms

Detroit Institute of Arts


Equestrian Statue of Francisco de Moncada, Marquis of Aytona
Attrib Fanelli
bronze Height 22"

Christie - Sale - 7 December 2016


Walking Horse
Bronze attributed to Fanelli

Photograph from the Altomani Catalogue written by Charles Avery.


St George and the Dragon
Height 20 cms.
Photograph Courtesy Messrs Altomani


Saint George and the Dragon,
Francesco Fanelli (
Bronze - H. 19.6 cm
Washington, National Gallery of Art

Photo : National Gallery of Art

A version of this model was in the 1640s to be found, along with the Birdcatcher and Cupid on horseback shown here, in the Cabinet Room at Whitehall Palace.

George and the Dragon
Bronze on Porphyry Base
Height 16.2
Walters Art Gallery - Baltimore.


George and the Dragon
Height 19.1 cms
Photographs Courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum


Bronze George and Dragon attrib to Fanelli on the Clay Clock in the Royal Collection.


St George and the Dragon

Sotheby's London

Lot 58 - 8th July 2011

St George and the Dragon
Approx 18.5 cms wide.

George Vertue wrote that 'he had a particular genius for these works and was much esteemd in K Charles I time – and afterwards.'

 According to Abraham van der Doort's 1639 inventory of the Royal Collection, Charles I owned five statuettes by Fanelli, including 'a little S George on horseback with a dragon by.' This bronze was displayed in the cabinet room at Whitehall alongside Raphael's painting of the same subject (now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington), which John Pope-Hennessy suggested was the inspiration for Fanelli's model. 

It is, however, more likely that Fanelli developed his composition in Genoa, a city state which shared St George as its patron saint and was home to Fanelli from 1605, prior to his arrival in England.

Fanelli's St George and the Dragon exists in two principal variants. The present bronze is taken from the first, in which Fanelli adapted his model of the Leaping Horse (see lot 63), a work which can be indentified by its extended hind legs and pronounced twist of the head. St George leans backwards and is represented with both hands gripping the lance. 

The present bronze is one of only two known casts which survive with the original naturalistic base of large oval form. The other, formerly in the collections of the Duke of Portland, is believed to be the same as that described by George Vertue as 'St George combatant with the dragon,' which, according to Vertue, was purchased by William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle (1592-1676) and installed at Welbeck Abbey (op.cit. Pope-Hennessy, p. 169, fig. 195). The pose and modelling of the dragon are also the same as in the present bronze. 

Other examples of this first, more spirited composition, but without the oval base, are held in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Collection. In his second variant of the subject of St George, Fanelli used his model of the Rearing Horse, where the saint leans forward, grasping the reigns of the horse with one hand, while lancing the dragon with the other. 

A cast of this model is in the Holburne Museum, Bath (op.cit. Pope-Hennessy, p. 169, n. 23, fig. 193). (below).


St George and the Dragon
Francesco Fanelli
Height 26.7 cms
Holburne Museum, Bath.

The present bronze may well have been acquired by George Proctor who spent some time in Venice and is known to have commissioned several notable paintings there for his new home of Langley Park.  Proctor bought the estate in Norfolk in 1742 and employed the local architect Matthew Brettingham to build a house in a distinguished Palladian manner.  From the 1815 inventory of the collection of Sir William Beauchamp-Proctor we know that the Fanelli bronze was in the Saloon, near to the Cabinet Room (fig. 1).

J. Pope-Hennessy, 'Some Bronze Statuettes by Francesco Fanelli,' in Essays on Italian Sculpture, London and New York, 1968, pp. 166-171; S. Stock, 'Fanelli, Francesco (b. 1577),' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004, online edn, Jan 2008; B. Van Beneden and N. de Poorter, Royalist Refugees. William and Margaret Cavendish in the Rubens House 1648-1660, exh. cat. Rubenshuis, Antwerp, 2006, pp. 198-199, no. 59

Sotheby's London,  Lot 58 - 8 July 2011.

Photographs and text courtesy Sotheby's


St George and the Dragon
Francisco Fanelli
18.5 x 26 cms
Formerly in the Collection of Sir John Wyndham Pope Henessy
Sotheby's London Lot 101 - 2nd July 2013

Photograph Courtesy Sotheby's



St George and the Dragon and Horse being attacked by a Lion.
Francesco Fanelli.

The Horse being attacked by the lion appears to be missing the figure of the Turk seen in the version with Kollenberg (see below). There many subtle differences in these two bronzes - the dog above has no collar

Pair of Bronzes.

Heights 18 and 15 cms.
Sold previously at Sothebys June 1991.

Sotheby's Lot 68 -5 December 2017.

Photograph Courtesy Sotheby's.

Note screw attaching rider
Recent Anonymous Sale


Mounted Turk attacked by a Lion.
Francesco Fanelli.
Width 19 cms
Given by Hildburgh 1953
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London


"Mounted Turk on Lion Hunt"
Francesco Fanelli
24 x 11 x 21 cms
with Kollenberg Antiquairs of Holland


Mounted Turk attacked by a Lion
attrib. Fanelli

Sold Sotheby's Lot 109 - 9 July 2009.
Entered  Robert H Smith Collection

see - Bronze, Boxwood, and Ivory in the Robert H. Smith Collection of Renaissance Sculpture

available online  -

Prancing Horse
attributed to Fanelli
Height 15 cms -
with dealers Altomani


Chas II as Prince of Wales
Attrib. Fanelli
bronze 22.5 cms.
Anonymous Sale 1995.?

Charles II as Prince of Wales, aged about 10 years old. 
Francesco Finelli.
Height 58.5 width 41 cms.

Signed -



Charles, Prince of Wales, 1640 (front) Francesco Fanelli, the Florentine, Sculptor to the King of Great Britain (back)

The bust from the collection of and was presumably  commissioned by William Cavendish, Earl and later 1st Duke of Newcastle, a gifted aristocrat who was responsible for the prince’s education. It is the only signed work by Francesco Fanelli (info V and A).

(Private Collection - Duke of Portland. Welbeck Abbey?)

Poor quality, low resolution image from -

Literature -

Pope-Hennessy, John, 'Some Bronze Statuettes by Francesco Fanelli', in: The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 95, No. 602 (May 1953), pp.156-162, reprinted in Essays on Italian Sculpture (London and New York, 1968) pp.166-171, esp. p.168

Schmidt, Eike D., in Boström, Antonia, ed., The Encyclopedia of Sculpture, Vol. 1 (New York and London, 2004) pp.543-4

Howarth, D., ‘Charles I, Sculpture and Sculptors’, in Macgregor, A., ed., The Late King’s Goods, (London and Oxford, 1989) pp.93-5.

Van Beneden, Ben and De Poorter, Nora (eds) Vorstelijke vluchelingen: William en Margaret Cavendish in het Rubenshuis 1648-1660, exh. cat. (Antwerp, 2006), p.264

Avery, Charles, Francesco Fanelli, King Charles I a unique bronze statuette (Maastricht, 2011) p. 4


Charles I
First attributed to Fanelli by Pope Henessy
Height 16.4 cms
Total Height 24.2cms
c. 1635 - 40.
Believed to be unique.
Purchased in 1999.

A bronze bust of Charles II as Prince of Wales is noted in the Gentleman's Magazine,Vol 88 part 1 p. 491/492 of 1818, at Welbeck Abbey inscribed Franciscus Fanellius Florentinus f. Sculpt. Magn. Brit. Regis 1640. The Magazine also mentioned 2 versions of St George and the Dragon, two horses grazing, four other horses in different attitudes, Cupid and a Turk each on horseback and a centaur with a woman (Nessus and Dajeniera (see photographs in this post).

William Duke of Newcastle (1592 - 1676), Welbeck Abbey (see anecdote of Painting in England... Vertue, Walpole, Dalloway). 1762 and later.

Images from Victoria and Albert Museum

The form of the integral bronze socle should be noted, variations of which le Sueur used on his busts of Charles I, and Larson used on his busts of Venetia Lady Digby.
see my blog post.


Radcliffe, Anthony and Thornton, Peter. 'John Evelyn's Cabinet', in: Connoisseur. CXCVII, April 1978, pp.260.

White, Adam. Francesco Fanelli. In:Jane Turner, ed. The Dictionary of Art. 10, London, 1996, 787p.
Williamson, Paul. "Acquisitions of sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1992-1999". The Burlington Magazine, CXLI, 1161, December 1999, no. VII. pp.785.

Guelfi, Franchini F. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Rome. 1994, vol. 44, pp.569.

Pope-Hennessy, John. ‘Some Bronze Statuettes by Francesco Fanelli’, in: The Burlington Magazine, XCV, May 1953, reprinted in: Essays on Italian Sculpture, London and New York, 1968, pp. 161, fig. 14 (reprinted on 'Essays on Italian Sculpture', London, 1968, p. 170, fig. 197)

Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470-2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p.3, 2

Avery, Charles, ‘Sculpture gone wild: Bernini and the English’, in: Grell, C. and Stanic (eds.), Le Bernini et L’Europe. Du baroque triumphant à l’âge romantique, Sorbonnne, 2002, pp. 161-178, esp. 
p. 165


Monument to Francis Lord Cottington (1578 - 1652).

Westminster Abbey
J Cole (1715 - 74).
343 x 200 mm

Bust of Ann Cottington (d. 1634).
Cottington Monument Westminster Abbey.

In 1622 Francis married Anne, daughter of William Meredith and widow of Sir Robert Bertt. She died on 22nd February 1634 (in modern dating) and Francis set up a black marble monument with a bronze bust of her in St Paul’s chapel where she is buried.

Attributed to Francesco Fanelli in the Gentleman's Magazine of 1818 - this bust has also recently been attributed to le Sueur - for me the jury is still out until further evidence appears.

His remaining children had pre-deceased him and it was his nephew Charles who brought his remains to the Abbey for burial many years later and erected a monument to him below that of Anne. The marble effigy, possibly by Francesco Fanelli, reclines on a rush mattress wearing a lace collar, knee breeches and gown with large rosettes on his shoes. His staff of office lies on the mattress. This monument was originally free standing supported by six Ionic columns. But when a large statue of James Watt was put in this chapel in 1825 the effigy was moved up to its present position on a sarcophagus. 

Text above from Westminster Abbey website.

Francis Cottington
In the past attributed to Fanelli (doubtful!).


Penelope Noel aged 22.

Marble bust attributed to Fanelli.

died from a needle prick to her finger probably from a poisonous dye.
Attributed to Fanelli

Memorial in Gainsborough Chapel, St James Church, Chipping Campden.

"The most exquisite model of natures best workmanship, ye richest magazine of all divine and moral vertues, Penelope Noel having added to the nobilitie of her birth, a brighter shyne of true noblesnesse, ye exemplary sweetness of her conversation, he contempt of earthly vanities and her zealous affection towards heaven, after 22 yeares devotions, commended her virgin sowle into ye hands of its true brydegroome Jesus Christ, May 17th AD 1633 over whose pretious dust here reserved, her sad parents Edward Lord Noel, Viscount Campden and the Lady Julian his wife, dropt theyr teares and erected this marble to the deare memorie of theyre unvaluable losse - Superata tellus Sidera donat."

Penelope was the 3rd & youngest daughter of Edward Noel, Viscount Campden 1642 & Juliana Hicks

top image courtesy -,_St_James_church,

I have not had the opportunity to visit this monument and the attribution to Fanelli (made at least since 1818 -Gentleman's Magazine) is doubtful - recently a much more likely attribution has been made by Dr Clive Easter to John and Matthias Christmas

Lady Anne Noel
Gainsborough Chapel
St James' Chipping Campden.

The bust on this monument of 1636  is very close in style and quality to the monument of Penelope Noel of 1633 (above) that I would suggest they were carved by the same hand.

"To the sacred memory of Lady Anne Noel, second daughter of William Fielding Earle of Denbigh, who was married to Mr Baptist Noel, eldest sonne of Edward Lord Noel and Hicks Viscount Campden. Shee changed this life for a better the 24th of March, in the yeare of salvation 1636. Shee had issue by her said husband 3 sonnes, the eldest Charles, also the second Charles and the third Edward, which 3 sonnes deceased before eyther of them accomplished the age of 2 yeares"

Anne was the 2nd daughter of William Fielding / Feilding, Earl of Denbigh 1643 & Susan daughter of Sir George Villiers, sister of the future Duke of Buckingham

She married Baptist Noel (later 3rd Viscount Campden).

For an in depth article on the monuments in the Gainsborough Chapel by Dr Clive Easter FSA
and attribution of these monuments to John and Matthias Christmas
 see -


The Victoria and Albert Museum also have a small lead bust in their collection attributed to Fanelli.

Charles I
Lead Bust
Height 25 cms not including socle.

Included in the sale of Renaissance Furniture, Majolica and Objects d'art, the property of Mrs Arthur Bull, and removed from Tewin Water, Welwyn, Herts, formerly in the collection of the late Sir Otto Beit, Bt, K.C.M.G, held at Christie, Manson and Woods, Derby House, Stratfor Place, Oxford Street, London, on 24th October 1946. Lot 75 was described as 'A lead bust of a man, possibly Charles I, wearing classical cloak and deep collar, on white marble socle'. Purchased from the sale by Frank Partridge, 144-146 new Bond Street, London, on behalf of the Museum for £33 12 s 0d, under the terms of the John Webb Trust: a bronze statuette of Amphitrite was also purchased from the same sale (lot 50) by Partidge's on behalf of the Museum, inv. no. A.212-1946.


Sir Robert Aiton (1570 - 1638).
With Apollo and Athene
Westminster Abbey

This bronze effigy has in the past been ascribed to Francisco Fanelli.

Simon Stock has expressed doubt as to whether the bust is by Fanelli but to my eye it seems too good to be by le Sueur - but it is dangerous to make assumptions and his later works might well have improved with the influence of other sculptors working in England at the time.

To quote Simon Stock "One needs to take a step back and think afresh about how Fanelli, Le Sueur, Besnier, Dieussart (all of whom must have had family and assistants) worked/ collaborated/ shared premises etc. and how that impacted their individuality as sculptors".

Plate 66 from British History on line


Image courtesy National Portrait Gallery.

The South Ambulatory
Frederick Mackenzie
78.3 x 61.5 cms

Image courtesy Tate

Venus and Adonis

Attrib workshop of Francisco Fanelli.
15.2 cms.
Given to the V and A in 1956 by Hildburgh
A version of this small bronze was on a window sill in the Throne Room at Whitehall in 1640's (V and A)

Victoria and Albert Museum


Venus and Adonis
Attrib. Fanelli

Bronze Base and Figures in Silver with ebony base.
Height 15.5 cms.
From the Collection of Hans Sloane

British Museum

Nessus and Dejanira (sic).
Francesco Fanelli
25.4 x 19.4 cms
Gift of Ogden Mills, 1924.
Metropolitan Museum, New York.


Nessus and Dieanara
Height 24.3 cms
Given by Hildburgh
V and A.

Literature  -

Pope-Hennessy, John. 'Some Bronze Statuettes by Francesco Fanelli', in: The Burlington Magazine, XCV, May 1953, reprinted in: Essays on Italian Sculpture, London and New York, 1968, pp. 166-171
Avery, Charles and Keeble, K. Coray, Florentine Baroque Bronzes and Other Objects of Art, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, exhibition catalogue, 1975, pp. 20-21
Radcliffe, A. and Thornton, P., 'John Evelyn's Cabinet', in: , CXCVII, April, 1978, pp. 254-262, n. 38
Binnebeke, Emile von. Bronze Sculpture: Sculpture from 1500-1800 in the Collection of the Boymans-van-Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, 1994, pp. 86-89, cat. no. 20


Centaur abducting a NymphAttributed to Fanelli
Height 21 cms.
Art Institute of Chicago


Actaeon devoured by his Hounds
Francisco Fanelli
Bronze Height 8 cms.
Victoria and Albert Museum


Francisco Fanelli
Height 14.9 cms
Given by Hildburgh 1952.

Victoria and Albert Museum

Francisco Fanelli

Royal Collection


Francisco Fanelli
15.7 cms
Purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore
From Jack Seligmann, Paris in 1911

Walters Art Museum


Francisco Fanelli

Height 15.3 x 20.4 cms.

Provenance Julius Goldschmidt, London. Acquired by Robert Lehman through Goldschmidt and also Frank Partridge & Sons, London, in April 1955.

Metropolitan Museum, New York


Leaping Horse
attrib. Fanelli Bronze
Base 14.5 cms
Sotheby's Lot 62 - 8 July 2011
Sold previously Christie's lot 186,  6 Dec. 1988
Photograph Courtesy Sotheby's

The Bronze Statuettes of Cupid on a Dolphin
by Francesco Fanelli.

Not mentioned in Royal inventories - a version is on a Clock of 1685 in the V & A

Cupid on a Dolphin
Francesco Fanelli

Height 12.6 cms

Wallace Collection


Cupid on a Dolphin
Francesco Fanelli
Gilt Bronze
12.5 cms

Twenty years after Fanelli’s death the original model was reused as a finial for a clock by the English maker Jeremie Gregory.

Victoria and Albert Museum


Francesco Fanelli
11.1 cms
Defing Taste Works selected by Daniel Katz
Sotheby's 12 November 2013.


Alfred Beit, London, by 1904
thence by inheritance to his brother, Otto John Beit, 1st Baronet 1924
thence by descent to his son, Sir Alfred Lane Beit, 2nd Baronet
and thence by inheritance to his widow, Lady Clementine Mabell Kitty Beit (née Mitford)
the Alfred Beit Foundation, 2005-2006


W. Bode, The Art Collection of Mr Alfred Beit at his Residence 26 Park Lane, London, 1904; W. Bode, Catalogue of the Collection of Pictures and Bronzes in the Possession of Mr Otto Beit, London, 1913, p. 109, no. 221

Note - Cupid on the dolphin was attributed to Francesco Fanelli by Anthony Radcliffe as early as 1978 (op.cit.). Several versions of it, both in gilt bronze and with a brown patination, exist in major collections such as London's Wallace Collection (inv. no. S85), the Victoria and Albert Museum (A103-1910), Ashmolean Museum (B424), and the National Galleries of Scotland (NG2592).

Further literature

W. von Bode and J. Draper, Italian Bronze Statuettes of the Renaissance, New York, 1980, pl. CLXV; N. Penny, Catalogue of European Scultpure in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1992, col. I, pp. 60-61, no. 491; M. Leithe-Jasper and P. Wengraf, European Bronzes from the Quentin Collection, New York, 2005, p. 41, fig. 9.

Photograph and text courtesy Sotheby's.


Cherub on a Dolphin
attrib. Fanelli

The Kedleston Fountain - Its Development from a Seventeenth Century Vase by Gillian Wilson in The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal: Volume 11, 1983 page 1.
By The J. Paul Getty Museum.
available on line at -

This journal has an interesting article regarding a variation of the Fanelli bronzes above


Attrib. Fanelli
Height of Horse 14.7 cms

Sotheby's London - Lot 40 5 December 2007.

Catalogue entry states

Both Weihrauch and Wixom believe this model to emanate from the workshops of Giambologna. However, more recent research by (Charles) Avery on a closely similar but larger variant in the Alexis Gregory collection has identified Fanelli as the undisputed author of this group of related horses.


E. Goldschmidt, Königliche Museen zu Berlin (Berlin, 1914) pp. 36-7, nos.170-171, pl. 56; 

H. Wiehrauch, Die Bildwerke in Bronze (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum) Munich, p. 226, pl. 273; 

W. Wixom, Renaissance Bronzes from Ohio Collections (Cleveland Museum of Art) 1976, no. 146

Text and photograph above courtesy Sotheby's.


Francesco Fanelli
Bronze 12.7 x 20 cms.
Jack and Belle Linsky Collection.

1. About 1736, George Vertue compiled a short list of “so many of this little Statues as I have seen at Ld Oxfords” 

2. the list includes several horse subjects, among them “a horse full gallop” that is very likely a bronze of this composition. Another of the type is in the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Brunswick.

[James D. Draper, 1984]

[1] See J. Pope-Hennessy, “Some Bronze Statuettes by Francesco Fanelli,” Burlington Magazine XCV (1953), pp. 157–62.

[2] Walpole Society, Vertue Note Books: IV, The Twenty-Fourth Volume of the Walpole Society, 1935–36, p. 110.

Text and photographs above courtesy
Metropolitan Museum, New York.


David and Goliath.
Attrib. Francesco Fanelli
44.5 × 22.2 × 23.5 cm
Jacj and Belle Linsky Coll. 1982

Metropolitan Museum New York


To be continued ......

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