Posted by Samantha Hughes-Johnson.

Lorenzo Bartolini was born in Prato on 7 January 1777. As a youth, he began his artistic studies at the Florentine Academy of Fine Arts before moving to Paris in 1797. By 1799, Bartolini was present in the studio of Jacques – Louis Davide and shared workshop space with Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Pierre-Nolasque Bergeret. An advocate of Napoleon Bonaparte, Bartolini acted as a drummer in The Little Corporal’s army and subsequently benefitted from Napoleonic patronage. In 1807, Bartolini was suggested as Director of the School of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara and in 1812, he was granted honorary membership of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. In 1839, he was offered a chair at the latter institution, which he accepted. It was at this point in his career that Bartolini felt that he could safely abandon his neoclassical training and the ideal representations associated with this style. He would subsequently concentrate his artistic efforts on faithfully reproducing figurative subjects in both two and three – dimensional forms, painstakingly replicating details derived from his own scrupulous scientific and natural observations.

References: Franca Falletti, Silvestra Bietoletti and Annarita Caputo eds., Lorenzo Bartolini: Beauty and Truth in Marble, Florence and Milan, Giunti Editore, 2011.

Lorenzo Bartolini: Scultore del bello naturale, With essay contributions from Cristina Acidini, Silverstra Bietoletti, Leticia Azcue Brea, Annarita Caputo, Maria Theresa Caracciolo, Maria Virginia Cardi, Grégoire Extermann, Franca Falletti, Andrea Grecco, Michele Gremigni, Elena Karpova, Anna Gallo Martucci, Barbara Musetti, Ettore Spalletti, Caterina Olcese Spingardi, and Lucia Tonini, Florence and Milan: Giunti Editore, 2011.

Deborah Menaker, ‘Lorenzo Bartolini’s Demidoff Table.’ In Metropolitan Museum Journal, Vol. 17 (1982), pp. 75-86.

Barbara Ann Day – Hickman, Napoleonic Art: Nationalism and the Spirit of Rebellion in France (1815-1848), Newwark, New Jersey: University of Delaware Press, 1999.

Images: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Portrait of the Sculptor, Lorenzo Bartolini, 1820, oil on canvas, Louvre Museum. Wikimedia Commons.

Lorenzo Bartolini, Bust of Napoleon, c. 1810, white marble, on a white marble socle. © 2018 Artnet Worldwide Corporation.

Bust of Elisa Baciocchi Bonaparte, Princess of Piombino and Lucca, Grand Duchess of Tuscany,c. 1809, marble. © 2018 Sotheby’s.

Malvezzi Angelelli Monument, after 1827, marble, Columbario Hall, Certosa Monumental Cemetery, Certosa di Bologna.

The Demidoff Table, 1845, marble, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of le Duc de Loubat, 1903. Public Domain.

The Campbell Sisters Dancing A Waltz, 1821-1822, marble, purchased jointly by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Victoria and Albert Museum, with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), and a donation in memory of A. V. B. Norman, 2015. © National Galleries Scotland.

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