An Italian Bronze Bust of Il Filosofo after Vincenzo Gemito
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Italian patinted bronze bust "Il Filosofo" (The Philosopher) after a model by Vincenzo Gemito.
Signed: GEMITO, and stamped: FONDRIA/GEMITO/NAPOLI
Height: 20" (50.8 cm)
Early 20th century.
Gemito was born in Naples to a poor woodcutter's family. His mother, only days after he was born left him on the steps of an orphanage where he was taken. Two weeks later he was adopted by a family with an artisan father who had recently lost a child.
Gemito’s bust of Il Filosofo is one of his most engaging images. Inspired by the disheveled and angular face of his adoptive father, Francesco Jadicicco, and the antique, this study foreshadows the physical appearance of the sculptor himself in later life. This combination of ancient and modern sources with a deep personal affinity with his subject is what defines Gemito’s style.
Il Filosofo’s corkscrew curls allow Gemito to show off his consummate skill in casting bronze. An identical bust was exhibited at the Paris `Exposition Universelle’ in 1900 and three years later at the Venice `Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte.’
Related Literature: Chiseled with a brush, p.90, no.20; Temi di Vincenzo Gemito, p.124.