This sculpture is a demonstration of supreme virtuosity in 'thinking in terracotta', the method he had inherited from Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.
River God by Jean-Jacques Caffieri, 1755
© Fitzwilliam Museum
- 23 x 37 x 13 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £21,500 ( Total: £86,000)
- Acquired in:
- Daniel Katz Ltd
It is a seriously classical subject, and although its brilliant naturalism and compressed energy hark back to baroque models, Caffieri's terracotta is a contained, closed composition in contrast to the loose expansiveness of Lemoyne's Oceanus. The vase, from which the river water flows, with its neat frieze of shells, is a crisp piece of neo-classical design. Caffieri seems simultaneously to be declaring himself a virtuoso in the French terracotta tradition he had inherited, and asserting his mastery of the new neo-classical mode, of which the Academie de France in Rome had been the seedbed.
Private Collection, France; Daniel Katz Ltd.
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