(Italian, c. 1470-1532)
Overall: 8.8 x 25.2 x 8.8 cm (3 7/16 x 9 15/16 x 3 7/16 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Severance A. Millikin 1948.487
Fanciful bronzes such as this one were extremely popular in the late 1500s in the north of Italy, where sculptors such as Andrea Riccio and Severo da Ravenna often featured bizarre imaginary creatures in their sculptures. These artists exerted a long lasting influence on their peers and followers for the remainder of the sixteenth century. However, this sculpture was not made in the 1500s. Based on the weight and style of the Doorknocker it is most likely that it was made in the 1800s to mimic the style of Riccio and his followers. This sculpture is solid; in the 1500s artists created hollow sculptures, to reduce the costs of the object and to decrease the chances of flaws in the sculpture. However, in the 1800s when better bronze casting technology evolved and the price of the metal was less costly, artists created solid bronze sculptures based on sixteenth-century designs. In particular, there was a considerable market in England for Renaissance Revival doorknockers to be used decoratively on pub doors.
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