Extraordinary, amazingly realistic and rare bust of a smoker finely carved in Carrara marble by the famous Italian sculptor Ferdinando Vichi in Florence at the beginning of the 20th century (circa 1910). Really sublime master piece made in near life size (total height is 28.4 inches). Amazing artwork of superb quality and highly detailed (in the pictures you can see the meticulous study of the contracted muscles of the face when puffing on a cigarette). The face has very particular and specific characteristics that give it a great personality, which makes me think that it is not just a bust of a smoker, but rather a portrait of a smoker. This impressive sculpture has another interesting: it has three marks.One is the signature and city of the author F. Vichi and Firenze, the other is the stamp of the importer in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Casa Bellas Artes, one of the most important galleries in Argentina dedicated to the importation of exclusive European works during end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century) and lastly the inscription Prof.
Morelli, a renowned contemporary artist from Vich. The sculpture was made by both artists. In such a case it would be a work of great rarity as it was made by two renowned sculptors from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.In the pictures of this publication, frontal lighting has been used with the purpose of exposing the enormous professionalism put into the details. The bust can be rotated over the base. The overall condition of the marble is very good condition with. Natural inclusions and natural veining to the marble consistent with the material. Light chipping, scattered scuffing and other small abraisions/flaking, with wear commensurate with age and use.
Some repairs and restorations only on base. Total height (including base) is 28.4 inches.
Bust height (excluding base) is almost 20 inches. Discussing the life of an artist like Ferdinando Vichi is difficult. Amongst the greatest sculptors of our age, especially as a portraitist. He was shy and almost backward in the face of every form of publicity. He was born into a noble family in Florence in 1875.In the early nineteenth century his grandfather founded the Gallerie Vichi, which soon became famous, especially abroad, and was later directed by Ferdinando himself. One of the Vichi Galleries headquarters was the Art Nouveau building of Via Borgo Ognissanti - two others were in Via Tornabuoni and on the Lungarno Vespucci. From his childhood he was passionate about art, and soon entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence under the guidance of Rivalta and Zocchi, where he won numerous prizes. Still very young, he exhibited his work. Later he worked in Germany, France, England, the two Americas and India.
The international criticism speaks of the young Vichi - not yet twenty years old. In the competition for the portrait of King Umberto for the Venice Chamber of Commerce, he was chosen together with two others out of sixty contestants, but in the final phase the competition was abolished. "For the artistic reason that the king wanted to entrust the execution of the bust to a Venetian". There are many portraits of important characters made by him on commission, including three American presidents, MacKinley, Roosevelt and Taft, and also the Queen of Baroda. He also made numerous monuments to the fallen in many Italian towns, the monument to Senator Donato Marelli and a large number of tombs in England, Switzerland and America (among the most notable for the Bally, Phillips and Rawleigh families).
Ferdinando Vichi won grand prizes and gold medals in various Italian exhibitions (including those of Venice and Livorno). In 1907, at the age of thirty, he was awarded the title of Knight of the Kingdom. He then worked on the busts of Marshall Cadorna and Mussolini. This last portrait, depicting the duce in a simple Roman tunic, is praised by the critic of.Already mentioned above - and is defined as. The most beautiful to date has been performed to eternal the effigy of the sacred Man for the destinies of Italy...
And really no other bust like this of the Vichi would be worthy of being known and reproduced, where the image del Duce has to be memory, incitement, command. This bronze, together with the plaster, has unfortunately been destroyed in a period that was not inclined to distinguish politics from art. Of his other numerous works, the Vichi family currently possesses a large number of plaster casts (also in bas-relief) and some bronze pieces; the subjects, the poses, the same realisation (attentive to reproducing reality) are part of a nineteenth-century culture, certainly not an innovator (think about his contemporaries or even earlier sculptors such as Medardo Rosso, Boccioni, Rodin and others, who had already broken - each in their own way - the rule of fifteenth-century figurations).
Equally, in his sculpture there is a passionate skill and a harmonising force that dominates the forms, both in the busts and in the tiny clay sketches. When the subject is unique - a bust, a whole figure - we find the harmony in the pose itself, otherwise, when the central human figure is placed next to another, whether an animal or a a simple table, Ferdinando always finds a balance, an essential reciprocity between the elements depicted that, by uniting, become a new unity, aesthetically inseparable. Linked to the figurative art of the Macchiaioli, the sculptor Vichi almost never tends to represent symbolic or exemplary occasions, but rather wants to capture the intimate and daily moments, often trying to stop the movement of his figures in a thoughtful or reflective pose, an occasion of a solitary moment - an occasion almost always customary, almost never rhetorical.In the cemetery of S. Miniato al Monte, high above Florence, there are tombs of the Vichi family with bronze busts made by Ferdinando, including those of his father, Orlando and a cuginetta who died at the age of six years. This item is in the category "Art\Art Sculptures". The seller is "rarityland" and is located in this country: AR. This item can be shipped worldwide.