Giacobbe Giusti, Boy with Thorn

Giacobbe Giusti, Boy with Thorn

 

IW-Spinario-Musei-Capitolini-07

Giacobbe Giusti, Boy with Thorn

IW-Spinario-Musei-Capitolini-03

Giacobbe Giusti, Boy with Thorn

Boy with Thorn, also called Fedele (Fedelino) or Spinario, is a Greco-Roman Hellenistic bronze sculpture of a boy withdrawing a thorn from the sole of his foot, now in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome. A Roman marble of this subject from the Medici collections is in a corridor of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.[1]

The sculpture was one of the very few Roman bronzes that was never lost to sight. It was standing outside the Lateran Palace when the Navarrese rabbi Benjamin of Tudela saw it in the 1160s and identified it as Absalom, who “was without blemish from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.”[2] It was noted in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century by the English visitor, Magister Gregorius, who noted in his De mirabilibus urbis Romae that it was ridiculously thought to be Priapus.[3] It must have been one of the sculptures transferred to the Palazzo dei Conservatori by Pope Sixtus IV in the 1470s, though it is not recorded there until 1499-1500.[4] It was celebrated in the Early Renaissance, one of the first Roman sculptures to be copied: there are bronze reductions by Severo da Ravenna and Jacopo Buonaccolsi, called “L’Antico” for his refined classicizing figures: he made a copy for Isabella d’Este about 1501[5] and followed it with an untraced pendant that perhaps reversed the pose. For a fountain of 1500 in Messina, Antonello Gagini made a full-size variant, probably the bronze that is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Giacobbe Giusti, Boy with Thorn

Roman marble copy, c.25 – 50 CE, of the lost 3rd century BCE Hellenistic original of the type. From the Castellani collection, Rome, said to have been found on the Esquiline. The base of the statue is worked as a rock, with a hole for a fountain pipe. (British Museum)[6]

In the sixteenth century, bronze copies made suitably magnificent ambassadorial gifts to the King of France and the King of Spain. For Francis I of France, the gift came from Ippolito II d’Este;[7] his copy was overseen by Giovanni Fancelli and Jacopo Sansovino, and the transaction effected by the courtly Benvenuto Cellini. For Philip II of Spain, the copy was the gift of Cardinal Giovanni Ricci. In the following century Charles I of England had a bronze Spinario by Hubert Le Sueur (Haskell and Penny 1981: 308).

Small bronze reductions were suitable for the less grand. A Still Life with ‘Spinario’ by Pieter Claesz, 1628, is conserved at the Rijksmuseum; among the riches emblemmatic of the good life, it displays a small plaster model of the Spinario.[8]

There were also marble copies. The Medici Roman marble seems to have been among the collection of antiquities assembled in the gardens at San Marco, Florence, which were the resort of the humanists in the circle of Lorenzo il Magnifico, who opened his collection to young artists to study from. The young Michelangelo profited from this early exposure to antique sculpture, and it has been discussed whether Masaccio was influenced by the Medici Spinario or by the bronze he saw in Rome in the 1420s,[9] but Filippo Brunelleschi more certainly adapted the Spinario’s pose for the left-hand attendant in the bronze competition panel, The Sacrifice of Isaac 1401, his trial piece for the doors of the Baptistery of San Giovanni.[10]

The formerly popular title Il Fedele (“The faithful boy”) derived from an anecdote invented to give this intimate and naturalistic study a more heroic civic setting: the faithful messenger, a mere shepherd boy, had delivered his message to the Roman Senate first, only then stopping to remove a painful thorn from his foot: the Roman Senate commemorated the event. Such a story was already deflated in Paolo Alessandro Maffei’s Raccolta di statue antiche e moderni… of 1704[11]

Taking into account Hellenistic marble variants that have been discovered, of which the best is the Thorn-Puller from the Castellani collection now in the British Museum,[12] none of which have the archaizing qualities of the bronze Spinario, recent scholarship has tended to credit this as a Roman bronze of the first century CE, with a head adapted from an archaic prototype.[13]

 

http://www.italianways.com/lo-spinario-ragazzo-con-mistero/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_with_Thorn

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

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Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

 

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Giacobbe Giusti,  Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

Boy Removing a Thorn from His Foot
Boy Removing a Thorn from His Foot, “The Spinario,” about 50 B.C., bronze and copper. Musei Capitolini, Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala dei Trionfi – foto Zeno Colantoni

July 28–November 1, 2015, Getty Center

During the Hellenistic period from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. until the establishment of the Roman Empire in 31 B.C., the medium of bronze drove artistic innovation. Sculptors moved beyond Classical norms, supplementing traditional subjects and idealized forms with realistic renderings of physical and emotional states. Bronze—surpassing marble with its tensile strength, reflective effects, and ability to hold fine detail—was employed for dynamic compositions, dazzling displays of the nude body, and graphic expressions of age and character.

Cast from alloys of copper, tin, lead, and other elements, bronze statues were produced in the thousands: honorific portraits of rulers and citizens populated city squares, and images of gods, heroes, and mortals crowded sanctuaries. Few, however, survive. This unprecedented exhibition unites fifty significant bronzes of the Hellenistic age. New discoveries appear with works known for centuries, and several closely related statues are presented side by side for the first time.

This exhibition was organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, with the participation of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Bank of America is the National Sponsor of this touring exhibition. The Los Angeles presentation is also supported by the Getty Museum’s Villa Council, Vera R. Campbell Foundation, and the A. G. Leventis Foundation.

http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/power_pathos/

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