St. John the Evangelist, Tuscan School? Probably 17th century
Silver-plated bronze, now in patina
Overall 29x18x12 cm Bronze 25x18x10 cm
This fine sculpture should be considered in relation to the previous lot featuring the figure of Mary Magdalene. They share the same precious material and craftsmanship: finely chased and punched drapery depicting scattered floral motifs.
They could have originally belonged to a Crucifixion scene, flanking a cross, and, only later were mounted on their current bases in yellow Siena marble.
Here they are presented separately as autonomous works, not necessarily as a pair.
It is worth emphasizing the three-dimensionality of the artwork, meticulously finished from all viewing angles, the quality of the drapery, and the attention to details. The placement of St. John’s left foot on a pile of books is an interesting element that creates a sense of rotational movement to the figure.
There are vague resemblances in the postures of the saints and the intensity of their facial expressions to a Crucifixion piece at the Lia Museum in La Spezia, attributed to Antonio Susini.
Bibliography: Charles Avery, La Spezia, Museo Civico Amedeo Lia. Sculture, Bronzetti, Placchette, Medaglie - Silvana Editore, Cinisello Balsamo, 1998, pp 127-13.