Coated bronze, well-worn. 19,8 x 6 x 6 cm with marble base; 12,5 x 6 x 4,5 cm without
For this bronze statuette we must refer to Giambologna’s original model, now preserved in the Bargello national museum in Florence. That bronze, along with another two, the Apollo and the squatting Venus-ette, are unanimously considered to be drafts made by the maestro in the mid-1500s and then casted in bronze.
The three said items don’t show much cold finishing: they are thought to be concept arts meant to be re-casted for more important pieces.
They were certainly replicated in studio and subsequently in the foundries that inherited the maestro’s works. Other smelters probably replicated these bronze statuettes for their own collections.
We would rather not open the can of worms of Giambologna attributions. Our Venus-ette can be cautiously ascribed to the XVII-XVIII century, due to its peculiar taste. The good quality of the casting and the fine worn coating have inspired me to date the item among the oldest of its kind.
Giambologna Sculptor of the Medici: 1529 - 1608, exhibition catalogue by C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, Edinburgh 1978.