"HOMME À GENOUX SUR UN ROCHER" BY ALFREDO PINA (ITALIAN, 1883-1966)
Lost-wax cast in patinated bronze; signed "A. Pina"; foundry cachet "cire purdue A.G. PARIS / 36"
Item # 009HHW18X
In a nearly black surface patina with hints of red-oxide and subtle browns, this moving modernist work by Alfredo Pina depicts a man in anguish. Titled by his biographer The Extreme Effort, he writes:
'Here at first is the Extreme Effort toward liberation, the mad hope of deliverance splendidly represented by this man who, kneeling on a rock, turns his head toward implacable heaven and wrings his arms'
The model was cast by the A.G. foundry in Paris in the lost-wax method, sealed with their cachet verso. His signature is captured in the bronze directly from the mold, not added or enhanced after the casting. It is a deeply moving work that positively glows in diffuse light.
There is some confusion about whether Alfredo Pina was born in 1883 or 1887, depending on which text is referenced. Most texts agree he was born in Milan, Italy, he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. In 1906 he won the Gran Premio Nazionale for sculpture and continued to work and exhibit solely in Italy. Just before the First World War, he moved to Paris and set up a studio in Sceaux. There he was heavily influenced by the work of the modernists, most notably as a student of Auguste Rodin and Antoine Bourdelle.
He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français and became an Associate member in 1911. He became a jury member of the Salon d'Automne, where he would continue to exhibit regularly. He presented two bronzes cast by the foundry Montagutelli at the Salon of 1914, one a statuette of La Douleur and the second a group of Victor Hugo. Starting in 1920 he began to exhibit at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants and at the Salon des Tuileries. He also presented his work internationally, most notably in New York City. In 1922 he moved permanently to Mesves, France and became a naturalized French citizen.
Artist Listings & Bibliography:
E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. X, Gründ, 2006, p. 1458-59
Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century: A Dictionary of Sculptors, Pierre Kjellberg, 1994, p 545-547 [present model pictured p. 546, 43 cm.
The Dictionary of Western Sculptors in Bronze, James Mackay, 1977, p. 299
Alfredo Pina, Gaston de Pawlowski, 1929
Present model auction results:
Sotheby's London, May 17 2011, lot 110, 5250 GBP ($ 8511 USD)
Sotheby's London, November 5 2002, lot 205, 4182 GBP ($ 6533 USD)
Sotheby's London, April 9 2003, lot 212, 7200 GBP ($ 11,192 USD)
Sotheby's London, May 20 2015, lot 134, 3750 GBP, ($ 5833 USD)
Measurements: 17 1/8" H x approx 8" D x 7 3/4" W
Condition Report: Very minor patina wear. Plaster casting residue in crevices. Exceptional original condition.
“The Extreme Effort” French Antique Modernist Bronze Sculpture by Alfredo Pina