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Figure - Juno

Juno

  • Object:

    Figure

  • Place of origin:

    Venice (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1580-ca. 1590 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Vittoria, Alessandro, born 1525 - died 1608 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Leaded bronze, with traces of zinc, antimony and possibly silver.

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Hildburgh Fund

  • Museum number:

    A.19-1961

  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 117, case 2

This statuette - a firedog figure - representing Juno, is a model made in the circle of Alessandro Vittoria, in Venice, in about 1580-1590.
The figure originally surmounted a fire-dog and was not intended as an independent statuette. It is frequently paired with A.18-1961, a figure of Jupiter, but it probably dates from an later period. It is one of numerous copies of a model by Alessandro Vittoria. Although possibly produced in Vittoria's workshop, such figures were also reproduced by artisan founders in Venice following the style of the leading sculptors of the day.

Firedogs or andirons were placed within the fireplace and would have been used to hold utensials which were required for tending the fire. Often, firedogs do not even appear on inventories, which indicates their status as standard household objects, not necessarily worthy of particular note.
Firedogs stand either side of the fireplace and hold burning logs above the floor in order to allow an updraft of air.

Vittoria (1525-1608) was an Italian sculptor, stuccoist and architect. In the second half of the 16th century he became one of the most important sculptors active in Venice. On his arrival in Venice in 1543 he worked for Jacopo Sansovino (1486-1570). He left Venice for Vicenza for a period of around 6 years. Apart from that and another short stay in 1576-77 when he worked in Brescia and Vicenca again to avoid the plague, he remained in Venice until his death. He is buried in the church of S. Zaccaria, where there is also a marble self-portrait bust as part of the monument. Portrait busts form a large part of his oevre.

Physical description

Juno stands clasping drapery to her bosom with her right hand while resting the other hand on the head of a peacock, which stands at her side.

Place of Origin

Venice (made)

Date

ca. 1580-ca. 1590 (made)

Artist/maker

Vittoria, Alessandro, born 1525 - died 1608 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Leaded bronze, with traces of zinc, antimony and possibly silver.

Dimensions

Height: 33 cm, Width: 11 cm, Diameter: 8

Object history note

The figure originally surmounted a fire-dog and was not intended as an independent statuette. It is frequently paired with A.18-1961, but it probably dates from a later period.
BGought from the Arcade gallery together with A.18-1961, with funds of the Hildburgh bequest in 1861, for £550.

Descriptive line

Figure, bronze, from a fire-dog, representing Juno, circle of Alessandro Vittoria, Italian (Venice), about 1580-90

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

Ambrosio, Luisa and Capobianco, Fernanda (eds.), La Collezione Farnese di Capodimonte, I branzzetti, Naples, 1995, no. 25, pp. 36-37
Banzato, Davide and Pellegrini, Franca, Bronzi e placchette dei Musei Civici di Padova, Padua 1989, no 60, pp. 83-84
pp. 286, ill. p. 292, 293
Motture, Peta. “The Production of Firedogs in Renaissance Venice”, in: Motture, Peta (ed.), Large Bronzes in the Renaissance, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2003, pp. 276-307
Motture, Peta. “The Production of Firedogs in Renaissance Venice”, in: Motture, Peta (ed.), Large Bronzes in the Renaissance, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2003, pp. 276-307

Materials

Bronze

Categories

Household objects; Sculpture; Bronze; Myths & Legends

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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