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Overall: 9.3 x 7.7 x 4.2 cm (3 11/16 x 3 1/16 x 1 5/8 in.)
Gift of William Mathewson Milliken in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Henry S. Francis 1968.64
These gilt bronze putti, or figures of plump male children in the nude, are near mirror images of one another. Both are seated, with their arms flung to the side. Minimal detailing exists in the hands and feet, with the fingers and toes signified only by simple line indentations. The function and original placement of the putti is uncertain, but their posture and the placement of their hands suggest that originally they may have been placed in a larger statue group, perhaps holding either side of a banner, or even a piece of furniture. A will drawn up by Guglielmo della Porta in 1558 mentions the existence of bronze Passion scenes and crucifixes, suggesting that the artist may have created other small bronze groups as well. John Pope-Hennessey attributed these works to della Porta based on their similarity to the figures of Apollo and Artemis in Latona and her Children (Victoria and Albert Museum, London) and the monumental putti in his Tomb of Cardinal Paolo Cesi in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, although more recent research points away from della Porta as the maker.
Ana Dieglio 2009
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