Artist: Antonio Borsato (Italian 1905-1981)
Title: "Self Portrait"
Size: Approximately 10 inches high, 16 inches wide, 10 inches deep.
Signed: In Palette Behind the figure's head. (See Photos)
Condition: No losses or damage. No cracks or breaks. No restoration. Very Good Condition. This is sculpted in the round, with even the back a work of art. The porcelains on his shelves can easily be identified as a Don Quixote, a Madonna, a Sweet Memories, and a genre piece. Photos cannot copy all the wonderful details.
The world lost a great artist when Antonio Borsato was killed in an auto accident in 1981. Borsato worked endlessly to make each creation a melody of color and movement. Being a perfectionist, he was not very prolific. Each piece had a special touch; a turn of the head, an expression. Borsato originals are sculptured in the full-round with no blank surfaces, with the entire piece completely hand colored with brilliant artistry. All stages were attended to by Antonio Borsato himself. It is assuring to note that no Borsato was in mass production.
Borsato, born in 1911, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice and began developing his own techniques while working mainly on religious themes, such as the Madonna and Child and Nativity sets. At his studio in Milan, he began to create his statuary from a combination of soft porcelain and stoneware known as gres. Through this process, Borsato was able to accentuate great detail in the faces, hair and fingers of his subjects. When these new creations were displayed at the Milan Trade Fair in 1949, the public was not impressed — perhaps because they were unfamiliar with such intricacy. But the export market put Borsato’s inimitable talent on the map and his work became sought after in the United States.
Focused on mastering his techniques, he continued creating in porcelain and perfecting the porcelain process. By 1980, Borsato’s name had become well-known by admirers of Hummel, Dresden, Meissen. With the rise of his popularity came the construction of a new factory in Milan, outgrowing his small studio and requiring the help of his wife and daughter. Tragically, as Borsato reached this high point in his career, he died in an auto accident in 1982, leaving 700 models of porcelain pieces and approximately 200 models of his older gres figures. His wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandchild continued his work to honor his legacy.
Borsato is known as the Michelangelo of the 20th Century. His works are displayed in the Vatican, museums, and many significant private collections. He studied under the great Cacciapuoti early on, but many believe he far surpassed his mentor, becoming the greatest of the Capo-Di-Monte style genre.
Borsato works of art are irreplaceable just as are the works of other Old Masters. His impeccable faithful adherence to detail, a wisp of hair, facial expression, even eyelashes, gestures, whimsical humor, anatomical perfection, combine to endow each of Borsato's works with breathing realism. A Borsato art treasure is an exquisite masterpiece to be cherished as an heirloom for future generations.