By Anne Leader
On July 20 1662, sculptor Andrea Brustolon was born in Belluno. Working mostly in wood, Brustolon is best known for dramatic figure groups and elaborate furniture made for many of Venice’s elite families. Typical of the Baroque era, Brustolon employed both classicism and emotion in his wood carvings, earning a reputation for his furniture design and for devotional sculpture and carved altarpieces.
Brustolon was in Rome from 1678 to 1680, where he fell under the sway of sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini and other High Baroque Roman artists. He then worked in Venice, where he is documented as providing carved work for several churches, suggesting that he employed a number of assistants. While this has led to a confusing array of attributions for the sculptor – nearly all Baroque woodwork in Venice has been assigned to Brustolon at one time or another – such acknowledgment attests to his success. Brustolon returned to Belluno in 1685, where he spent the remainder of his life producing tabernacles, devotional sculpture, and other masterpieces of woodcarving. He died on 25 October 1732 in his hometown.
Reference: Camillo Semenzato. “Brustolon, Andrea.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.
Anna Maria Spiazzi and Marta Mazza. Andrea Brustolon: opere restaurate. La scultura lignea in età barocca. Il Poligrafo, 2011.
Anna Maria Spiazzi, Massimo de Grassi, Giovanna Galasso. Andrea Brustolon, 1662-1732. “Il Michelangelo del legno”. Skira, 2009.
Saint Peter Freed from His Chains, late 17th-early 18th century, boxwood, Worcester Museum of Art
Jacob’s Fight with the Angel, 1700-10, boxwood, Liebieghaus, Frankfurt
Sofa, National Museum, Warsaw