Colnaghi to offer masterworks at TEFAF Online

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Colnaghi to offer masterworks at TEFAF Online
Benedetto da Rovezzano, Saint John the Baptist, 1510. Courtesy of Colanghi.

LONDON.- Colnaghi will present two masterpieces spanning art history for TEFAF Online 2021. Reflecting the gallery’s commitment to cross-category presentations and collecting, the selection encompasses a rare marble head from Magna Graecia and a significant Renaissance sculpture in terracotta. Each work is exemplary in its quality, provenance, and art historical significance.

One of the most important marble and cast metal sculptors of the high Renaissance, Benedetto da Rovezzano (1474 – c. 1552) was also a master of terracotta sculpture. He created this Saint John the Baptist, in Florence around 1510, during the time when his contemporaries Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael were also active in the Tuscan city. Clad in a camel-skin tunic, the youthful figure of Saint John is portrayed glancing to the side with an exalted expression. The wooden base of the work is reminiscent of a bleak rocky setting, recalling the biblical account of his sojourn in the desert. With its lifelike modelled hair and detailed, serene physiognomy, this piece is one of the best examples of early Renaissance sculptures currently on the market, embodying the period's ideals of youth and beauty. The presentation of this work previews an exhibition of Renaissance masterpieces that will open at Colnaghi New York in early November.

Colnaghi's Ancient Art department will present for TEFAF 2021 the Marble Head of a Woman from Magna Graecia. This sculpture hails from the Greek city of Taras (modern-day Taranto) in the region of Southern Italy known as ‘Greater Greece’ where some of the greatest works of Greek art have been discovered. In the fourth century B.C., the period from which this sculpture dates, more Greeks lived on the Italian coast than the Greek mainland, and the populous cities in Sicily and Reggio Calabria were significant sites for the Hellenic economy, politics, and culture. Still in near- perfect condition, this marble bust preserves the work of a master craftsman rendering human likeness in stone. Her expression and archetypal proportions emulate the Classical style pioneered by Athenian sculptors of the previous century, making this an exemplary piece from a major Southern Italian workshop at the height of the Classical period.

Says Chloe Stead, Senior Global Director, Colnaghi: "It is our privilege to launch Colnaghi’s Autumn programme with this presentation of masterworks for TEFAF 2020. We are delighted to be able to present works that span the ages and thoroughly reflect Colnaghi’s commitment to showcasing high quality, cross-category works of art. From the archetypal classicism and serene beauty of the Marble Head of a Woman, created in the fourth century B.C., to Rovezzano’s small and perfectly formed, lively terracotta of Saint John - our presentation invites you to journey from the Hellenic colonies of Magna Graecia to the sculptor's workshop in Renaissance Florence."

TEFAF Online: 9 – 13 September, 2021 (Preview: 8 September, 2021)

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