0101 Committenze europee di scultura veneziana nel Settecento

Una panoramica e alcune ipotesi di lavoro

  • Fabien Benuzzi (Author)
    Università Ca' Foscari, Venice

    Fabien Benuzzi graduated from the University of Trento with a thesis on the eighteenth-century altars in the region of Trentino (Italy), having studied under professor Andrea Bacchi (2009). His research path continued with a Ph.D. awarded by the Ca' Foscari University, Venice (2013), for a dissertation on the Venetian sculptor Antonio Gai (1686-1769), under the supervision of Professor Martina Frank. In the academic year 2011-2012 he was a fellow of the "Fondazione di studi di storia dell'arte Roberto Longhi" in Florence. His current research interests are above all focused on Venetian Baroque sculpture, with a special focus on its European patronage, and on eighteenth-century painting in Verona.

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Research on the European success of Venetian art during the 18th century has above all examined the activity of the painters. This paper analyzes the works of Venetian sculptors through some important case studies. Attention is given to several commissions of sculpture from Russia (among them works ordered by Peter the Great from 1719 to 1723), German states (Prussia, Saxony and Bavaria), Sweden and England. The analysis also concerns Venetian intellectuals who played the roles of mediators, such as Anton Maria Zanetti and Francesco Algarotti. The comparative study of these commissions allows us to formulate hypotheses about who were the most praised sculptors and whether there was a taste for specific artistic tendencies. It seems, for example, that British clients mainly appreciated classical sculptors like Antonio Gai and Giovanni Marchiori, in contrast to other countries, where also baroque artists were valued. The article also notes the case of Antonio Corradini, who operated for several years abroad, in Vienna and Dresden. There is finally also the attempt to outline some ideas and starting points for further research on this topic; among them an enquiry about taste for Venetian baroque sculptures in the 19th and 20th centuries.


Venetian sculpture, 18th century, Patronage, Northern Europe, Peter the Great, Antonio Gai, Giovanni Marchiori, Antonio Corradini