Absolutely stunning! Most certainly an architectural salvage panel from a Renaissance or Renaissance revival interior, this hand carved panel is a masterpiece of both the sculptor's carving, and also of the anatomical representations thereon. In Renaissance Florence, Italy, it was common in the arts for painters and sculptors to include the likeness of the patron into the painting or artwork, the sculpture, as a means of representing the person who paid him, as someone of great importance. So often we see the Medici family members in religious paintings within the chapels in Florence, as well as others, depicted in processions of historical significance to Christian beliefs and stories (in this case, Catholic). But interior of homes were also decorated in fanciful grotesques, as they were called, and the ceilings and walls of the old Medici Palace there in Florence is rich with these grotesques, as is the adjoined Uffizi Art Museum, and other buildings of the late 1500s to early 1600s. This carved panel is a perfect fit for Florence in that aesthetic era, and may well be just such a panel. This may well be the portrait of a gentleman who lived in Florence when this was carved, and in whose home it was incorporated and later removed/salvaged. It has a look of some depictions of Moses, as well, though we don't normally see Moses in combination with the Florentine grotesques as would be the case here, though there is a winged floating head below, which is the representation of an angel, so it's possible. I have no way to date it other than by the quality of the work, which tells us it is old. The later carvings are, curiously enough, not quite so detailed or fine. I wish we had a signature or the history of this incredibly fine piece. I bought it in Europe, and would dare bet if we had it appraised at Sotheby's or Christie's, they'd suggest it is Renaissance, as well. But we're unsure, and there is a chance it is perhaps 200 years later, Renaissance Revival, still putting it in 1700s or earlier. An incredibly fine work of art. The carving is contained by a frame-in of wood and backed in another piece of wood, probably this has been done much later so this can be hung as art, and perhaps the old original wood back was irregular in finish, something. But we show it as it is. I wish I could think of a place to hang this one in my own home. It is the finest of carving masterpieces, truly. Weighs 7 lbs, 5 oz. (3.3 kg)!
Very good to excellent for age and type. You see there is a small chip on the hand of the putti to far right in your view. The hand carved panel is at least 1700s, but likely to be even earlier, and I think 1600s Florence is it's original setting, from all my Art History background and also all of my considerable (and greatly treasured) time looking at and studying such decorative carving and art in Florence. As noted, it has a thin outer framing, of sorts, and a backing that gives it a more 'finished' look, but those have been added perhaps hundreds of years after the carving was made. This is an architectural piece, to be sure. And one of the finest I've ever had the great pleasure to offer. No woodworms, no splits. A little old age-hairline going on in the encirclement that houses the carved head, center, but it's superficial. Truly an astounding piece.
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