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Ink-well - Boy supporting a shell

Boy supporting a shell

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Padua (made)

  • Date:

    1500-1525 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Severo da Ravenna (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case 10, shelf 4

Severo was described by a contemporary as ‘the perfect sculptor’. His small bronzes were replicated in great numbers and his many patrons included Isabella d’Este, the Marchesa of Mantua and a discerning collector. This bronze was probably part of a writing set, with the shell used as an inkwell.

Severo da Ravenna or Severo di Domenico Calzetta da Ravenna was an Italian sculptor, active ca. 1496, who died in ca. 1543. His father was probably a sculptor and he may have been related to the two painters of the same name working in the circle of Mantegna in Padua: Pietro Calzetta and Francesco Calzetta. Severo might have divided his time between Padua, Ferrara and Ravenna, where he was first recorded in 1496.

Physical description

Small boy dressed in a short tunic carrying a huge shell on his back.

Place of Origin

Padua (made)


1500-1525 (made)


Severo da Ravenna (maker)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 10.7 cm, Weight: 0.5 kg

Object history note

Given by Dr. W. L. Hildburgh, F. S. A., 1956.

Descriptive line

Ink-well, bronze, of a boy supporting a shell, Italian (Padua), 1500-1525

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

Avery, Charles. Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes in the Frick Art Museum, Pittsburgh, 1993, cat. nos. 3 & 4, pp. 50-52





Subjects depicted

Boy; Shell


Household objects; Containers; Sculpture; Bronze


Sculpture Collection

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