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Statuette - Mars

Mars

  • Object:

    Statuette

  • Place of origin:

    Florence (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1550 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cellini, Benvenuto, born 1500 - died 1571 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze

  • Museum number:

    A.113-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Vulcan the Roman god of fire and blacksmith to the gods, is shown holding a firestone in his left hand and the remains of a hammer in his right. The bronze possibly reflects a model made by the Florentine sculptor and goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini for one of a series of twelve life-size silver statues, six each of gods and goddesses, commissioned by Francis I of France to stand as candelabra in his dining hall. Cellini produced wax models of Jupiter, Juno, Apollo and Vulcan while in Paris in 1540, and bronzes associated with the Jupiter and Juno also survive. Only the lost silver figure of Jupiter was completed before Cellini left France in 1545.

Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) was trained as a goldsmith in Florence. He developed great skill and originality in hi techniques. He lived a dramatic but vibrant life which is documented in his aitobiography (unfinished, but published in 1728). This book was translated by many writers, one of them Goethe and was the basis for Berlioz’ opera ‘Benvenuto Cellini’ (1837). As a sculptor he has a Mannerist style, which is elaborate, elegant and precious. He stands for the tragic yet roamantic artist.

Physical description

A bearded man standing, naked, his right foot slightly raised; his right hand above his head holding a (broken) spear shaft, his left hand holding out a jagged stone. He wears a helmet shaped as a wild beast's head. Irregular bronze base. Black patina over brown-surfaced bronze. On a cylindrical base of pink granite with gilded bronze moulding above a square plinth.

Place of Origin

Florence (made)

Date

ca. 1550 (made)

Artist/maker

Cellini, Benvenuto, born 1500 - died 1571 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Bronze

Dimensions

Height: 30.5 cm

Object history note

From the Salting bequest.

Descriptive line

Statuette, bronze, Vulcan, possibly after a model by Benvenuto Cellini, Italy (Florence), ca. 1550

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 8

Labels and date

Vulcan the Roman god of fire and blacksmith to the gods, is shown holding a firestone in his left hand and the remains of a hammer in his right. The bronze possibly reflects a model made by the Florentine sculptor and goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini for one of a series of twelve life-size silver statues, six each of gods and goddesses, commissioned by Francis I of France to stand as candelabra in his dining hall. Cellini produced wax models of Jupiter, Juno, Apollo and Vulcan while in Paris in 1540, and bronzes associated with the Jupiter and Juno also survive. Only the lost silver figure of Jupiter was completed before Cellini left France in 1545. [1999]

Materials

Bronze

Categories

Myths & Legends; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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