Giovanni Battista Bellandi (? - 1626)
Inscription on the reverse side of the sculpture: « IÒ[VANNO]. BATISTE. DE. BELÀ[N] CIVIS MEDIOLANE FECIT » (Giovianni Battista Bellandi from the city of Milan realized [this work]).
wears of the surface of marble, accidents and losses
55 x 40 cm
-Collection of Detlev von Hadeln. By descents.
Estimate : 50.000 - 80.000 €
Hammer Price : 10.000€
- S. Pierguidi, « Orazio Samacchini e il Cupido dormiente antico di Isabelle d’Este », in Atti e Memorie, nuova Serie, vol. LXXXIX (2011) et LXXX (2012), Accademia nazionale virgiliana di Scienze lettere e Arti, Mantova, 2014, pp. 77 -90 ;
- S. Zanuso, « La scultura del Seicento negli altari del transetto », in AA.VV., La Certosa di Pavia, Parme, 2006, p. 188 ;
- F. Rausa, « Li disegni delle statue et busti sono rotolate drento le stampe » : l’arredo di sculpture antiche delle residenze dei Gonzaga nei disegni seicenteschi della Royal Library a Windsor Castle », a Cura di Raffaella Morselli : la Celeste Galeria. L’Esercizio del collezionismo, Genève, Skira, 2002, p.76
-Clifford M. Brown, Per dare qualche splendore a la gloriosa cità di Mantua. Documents for the Antiquarian Collection of Isabella d’Este, Bulzoni Editore, 2002, pp.353 – 356 ;
-Charles Dempsey, Inventing the Renaissance Putto, The University of North Carolina Press, 2001
-R. Morselli , Le Collezioni Gonzaga : l’elenco dei beni del 1626-1627, Cinisello Balsamo (MI), Silvana 2000
-U. Thieme et F. Becker, « Bellandi », Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol3/4, Bassano bis Brevoort, 1999, p.231 ;
-L. Ventura, Il collezionismo di un principe, la raccolta di marmi di vespasiano Gonzagua Colonna, Franco Cosimo Panini , 1997, pp.50 – 51 ;
-Michael Hirst et Jill Dunkerton, Making and Meaning. The young Michelangelo, the artist in Rome 1496-1501, catalogue de l’exposition tenue à la National Gallery de Londres, du 19 octobre 1994 au 15 janvier 1995, National Gallery Publications, 1994, pp.13-28.
- S. Ferino Pagden, Isabella d'Este, "la prima donna del mondo" : Fürstin und Mäzenatin der Renaissance, Catalogue de l’exposition tenue Kunsthistorischen Museums à Vienne, Wien, 1994 ; p.310 ;
- Clifford M. Brown, « The Erstwhile Michelangelo Sleeping Cupid in the Turin Musei di Antichita and drawings , After antiquities in the collection of Tommaso della Porta », in Journal of the History of Collections, 5.N°1, 1993, pp.59-63 ;
- R.Rubinstein, « Michelangelo's Lost Sleeping Cupid and Fetti's Vertumnus and Pomona » , in Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, n° 49, 1986, 257-259 ;
-A. Parronchi, Il Cupido dormiente di Michelangelo, Conti, Florence, 1971 ;
-A.H Scott Elliott, « The statues from Mantua in the Collection of King Charles I », in Burlington Magazine, CI, 1959 ;
- G. De Tervarent, Attributs et symboles dans l'art profane : Dictionnaire d'un langage perdu, Genève, Droz, 1958 ;
- P. F. Norton, « The lost sleeping Cupid of Michelangelo », in The Art Bulletin, vol 39, N°4, décembre 1951, pp.251-257 ;
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Carved in an irregular shaped white marble block the Sleeping Cupid is shown stecht-out on a hillock covered by a lion skin. On either side of the the body of the abandoned sleeping child lays the case and the bow, the traditional attributes of love, together with those symbolising sleepiness and death, a funeral torch in reverse position (presently missing) a poppy flower and lizard.The subject corresponding to a greek period theme with huge success in the antique and Renaissance period. From this archetype particularly developed by the greek artist Praxitèle a number of copies are issued with variances which could be found in marvelous princely collections from the XVl century onward.
The piece of art is signed at the back in a safely carved cartridge “ IO ( VANNO. BATISTE DE. BELA(N) CIVIS MEDIOLANE FECIT “ (Giovianni Battista Bellandi from the city of Milan realized this work). Giovanni Battista Bellandi is not a very well known artist whose carreer as a painter and sculptor is presently being studied. The writer and poet Girolamo Borsieri ( 1588-1629 ) describes him in1619 as one of the most Milanees important sculptor and painter. We know fore sure that he participated to the Milan Duomo from 1608 onward and that he worked in Parme and Plaisance between 1610 and 1625. Although, to date, only four marble are attributed to him ( three in the Milan Duomo and one in Pavie’s monastery) The rediscovery of our sculpture is added to the compilation of his work.
Through this Sleeping Cupid , Bellandi offers a faithfull interpretation of the antique art while at the same time allowing to decern baroque aspirations. For this reason, one can compare it to the putto along side the Assumption Virgin executed for the Pavie monastery in 1616, one of the rare work of art known to Bellandi, recapturing the better assumed baroque style the same composition and the equal stylistic characteristics.
On the other hand our marble is very similar to an other Sleeping Cupid presently kept in a private collection at Corsham Court in Wiltshire. Obtain by Paul Methuen in 1735 this work could be a copy from an antique black marble offered by the king of Naples Ferdinand 1st. to Laurent de Medicis in 1488 ( presently kept at the Offices museum in Florence).Although not signed, it was considered for a long time as Michel-Ange’s autographic famous piece of work coming from Isabelle d’Este’s collection.
The Isabelle d’Este collection (1474-1539) patron and figure of art of the Renaissance art, wife of François II Gonzague, marquis of Mantoue (1466-1519) included amidst its most emblematic work two sleeping Cupidons : one, antique, made by Praxitèle the greek sculptor, the other by Michel-Ange.Two other Sleeping Cupid sculptures confirmed by the inventory of the Gonzague family in the early part of the 17th. century were later added to the collection. Amongst these four works of art, three were sold to king Charles the 1st. of England in 1631. A replica in the form of a sketch (kept at the royal library) corresponds with the only graphic testimony we have of these marbles. Their trail was in fact lost after the 1698 fire of Whitehall residence where they were kept.
When comparing our piece of art with the drawing of Royal Library and cross-checking it with the description found on the Gonzague collection of 1627 emerges with the following assumption: Giovanni-Battista Bellandi was like previously Giulio Romano, Jacopo Tintoret (1519-1594)and Orazio Samacchini (1532-1577) inspired by the fourth Sleeping Cupid of the Gonzague collection remaining in Mantoue in order to carry out his work of art.