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date: 15 October 2019

Bertos, Francescolocked

(b Venice, fl 1693–1733).

Extract

(b Venice, fl 1693–1733).

Italian sculptor. Documents record him as working in Rome in 1693 and in Venice in 1710. Records of his activity cease after 1733, the year in which he received a commission for two candlesticks for the basilica of S Antonio (il Santo) in Padua. He produced distinctive, small-scale sculptural groups, usually in bronze, sometimes in marble. These decorative pieces, purchased avidly by 18th-century Italians and tourists to Italy, made their way into various collections in Europe and North America. Typical of his bronze groups are the Triumph of Chastity (London, V&A) and America (Baltimore, MA, Walters A. G.), both with several allegorical figures arranged in a boldly dynamic pyramid. The elongated, twisting figures are almost Manneristic in their proportions and assume difficult, seemingly weightless poses. Many of the works recall Giambologna’s sculptures; indeed Bertos made a small-scale marble copy (Turin, Pal. Reale) of Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women (Florence, Loggia Lanzi). He signed some of the bronzes. All his pieces are virtuosic, no matter what the size or number of figures included, and display Bertos’s knowledge both of the bronze statuettes of Renaissance craftsmen and of 15th-century German goldsmith’s pieces....

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