Probably by Paolo Naldini (Italian, 1616–1691)
Terracotta, Overall: 41.9 x 41.9 x 15.3 cm (16 1/2 x 16 1/2 x 6 in.). Sundry Purchase Fund 1971.230
This work is probably a study for a large altarpiece that would have combined several materials, including marble, stucco, and paint. The artist modeled his design in soft clay, which was then hardened by firing; subtle tints suggest the richness of the finished work. The idea of using sculptural figures to support a painted image within an altarpiece was influenced by the work of the Roman sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), with whom Naldini is known to have worked.
CMA 1971: Art for Collectors, no cat.CMA 1973: "Year in Review 1972," Bulletin, LX (March 1973), cat. no. 110, p. 109, repr. p. 77.CMA 1984: Baroque Imagery, November 6, 1984-January 6, 1985, cat. 8, pp. 26-27, repr. p. 27.
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