Adam

Statuette
ca. 1610 (made)
Adam thumbnail 1
Adam thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Europe 1600-1815, Room 6, The Lisa and Bernard Selz Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This pose of this ivory figure resembles that of Michelangelo's marble David in the Accademia in Florence. The V&A sculpture is close in style to the work of the so-called Master of the Furies (active ca. 1610-20), an anonymous artist who worked in ivory probably in Salzburg, in the early 17th century, and is almost certainly by him. The tightly-curled hair and elegant elongated figure in particular recall some of his other works, such as the Furies and the Standard Bearer in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. It seems highly probable that this figure represents Adam, and that it was once paired with a figure of Eve, now lost.

Very little is known about this artist, whose distinctive works were almost certainly executed in the early decades of the seventeenth century. His name was first coined in the 1970s by Erwin Neumann, a curator at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, who grouped together a number of ivory groups and statuettes with a particular energetic stylistic quality, notably figures of the Furies. Subsequent scholars have added further ivories to this group, and seventeen were exhibited in Frankfurt in 2006. The Salzburg provenance of some of the works has led to suggestions that the sculptor was Austrian, working for the Archbishop of Salzburg, Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, or one of his successors.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Ivory
Brief Description
Statuette, ivory, of Adam, by the Master of the Furies, Austrian (perhaps Salzburg), ca. 1610
Physical Description
Adam stands holding an apple in his left hand, and probably the remains of a fig branch in his left hand, perhaps originally joined onto the broken branch and foliage concealing his nudity. He turns his face upwards and to his left with an anguished expression. His bent right leg is supported beneath the foot with two pieces of ivory.
Dimensions
  • Height: 25.7cm (With socle)
  • Ivory alone height: 22.7cm
Object history
Formerly in the collection of Mr H. Avray Tipping. Bought for £46 at Sotheby's, London, 3 December 1930, lot 148.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This pose of this ivory figure resembles that of Michelangelo's marble David in the Accademia in Florence. The V&A sculpture is close in style to the work of the so-called Master of the Furies (active ca. 1610-20), an anonymous artist who worked in ivory probably in Salzburg, in the early 17th century, and is almost certainly by him. The tightly-curled hair and elegant elongated figure in particular recall some of his other works, such as the Furies and the Standard Bearer in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. It seems highly probable that this figure represents Adam, and that it was once paired with a figure of Eve, now lost.



Very little is known about this artist, whose distinctive works were almost certainly executed in the early decades of the seventeenth century. His name was first coined in the 1970s by Erwin Neumann, a curator at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, who grouped together a number of ivory groups and statuettes with a particular energetic stylistic quality, notably figures of the Furies. Subsequent scholars have added further ivories to this group, and seventeen were exhibited in Frankfurt in 2006. The Salzburg provenance of some of the works has led to suggestions that the sculptor was Austrian, working for the Archbishop of Salzburg, Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, or one of his successors.
Bibliographic References
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, Review of the Principal Acquisitions During the Year 1930. London, p. 8, fig. 4
  • Theuerkauff, C. Die Bildwerke der Skulpturengalerie Berlin. II. Die Bildwerke der Elfenbein des 16-19 Jahrhunderts. Berlin 1986, p. 122
  • Beck, H. et al. Der Furienmeister. Petersberg, 2006' pp. 96-101
  • Cf. Bulletin of Metropolitan Museum. vol. XIX. Nov, 1924, p. 290
  • Cf. Born, W. In: Apollo. Jan, 1936, pp. 41 ff
  • Cf. Fleischer, V. Fürst Karl Eusebius von Liechtenstein als Bauherr und Kunstsammler. Wien, 1910' pp. 225-226
  • Cf. Braun, E. W. In: Kunst und Kunsthandwerk. XVI, 1913, pp. 312-313
  • Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 28
  • Catalogue of an exhibition of carvings in ivory, London : Privately printed for the Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1923193
  • Beck, Herbert et al (eds.), Der Furienmeister, Petersberg : Michael Imhof Verlag, 200611
Collection
Accession Number
A.97-1930

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record createdJanuary 9, 2004
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