January 28, 2012

EARLY 16th CENTURY RENAISSANCE BRONZE “MODERNO” PLAQUETTE

THE MOST ACCOMPLISHED DESIGNER OF PLAQUETTES IN RENAISSANCE ITALY

AN ARTIST THAT INFLUENCED DURER AND MICHELANGELO

The Plaquette:

GALEAZZO MONDELLA, called MODERNO (c.1467-1528/9). Plaquette : Saint Sébastien. Mondella Galeazzo, Moderno (after). [s.d, s.l., ; c. Very Early 16th Century, North Italian.] After a model attributed to Moderno before 1487. Cast Bronze Plaquette. 76 x 55 mm. Minor casting flaws in field, pierced; else sharp, almost Very Fine, attractive patina and color. Ref: Kress 154, Lewis II (Lewis, D. ‘The Plaquettes of ‘Moderno’ and his Followers’, Studies in the History of Art, 21, Washington DC, 1987) [SOLD]

Moderno was one of the most admired Renaissance designers of small bronze plaquettes which explored religious or antique themes. Humanist collectors kept these in their study for contemplation as well as affixed them to objects for a functional decorative use. The plaquette for sale here is a very handsome early 16th century bronze cast, and an example from the earlier part of Moderno’s oeuvre when his work was modeled on Mantegna (especially during Mantegna’s period in Mantua, when Moderno may have had access to his studio) rather than his later Roman classical influenced designs. Moderno’s plaquettes were extremely influential, especially in the Veneto, Emilia and Lombady regions. Farther afield, Albrecht Durer and Hans Holbein copied his designs, as well as French Renaissance artists, one of the best creations of which (David and a Companion with the Dead Goliath) provided Michelangelo with the a model for a figure for his Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel.

Additional online references: See Havard Fogg Museum

Also, the Plaquette in the Musée du Louvre

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