Tomasso Brothers unveil unrecorded Giambologna

LONDON. A previously unrecorded bronze by the Florentine Renaissance artist Giambologna will be the highlight of “Scultura” (15 October-1 November), a sculpture exhibition put together by the Tomasso Brothers.

Venus Urania or Allegory of Astronomy, 1585-95, is to be sold in the gallery’s first New York exhibition with a price tag of $7m. The highest auction price for a work by the artist is £565,500 ($1m), which was set at Sotheby’s in London in July 2004 for a bronze gilded Christ figure on which the artist collaborated with Antonio Susini.

The Tomassos (three brothers who formed a fine art dealership in Leeds in 1993) discovered this 36.4cm version of Venus Urania in a private collection in France. Before this find, only two casts of the artist’s model were known: one in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, and the other in the Schönborn Collection in Pommersfelden, Germany. The two previously known casts differ from each other, but the recently found bronze is almost identical to the Pommersfelden version, leaving the Tomasso Brothers in little doubt that the bronzes were cast from identical moulds at the same time.

Andrew Butterfield, who has researched the newly discovered bronze, said: “In 30 years of studying the work of Giambologna, this is one of the most beautiful casts by the artist that I have ever seen.”

The bronze will be the highlight of an exhibition of around $25m-worth of sculpture from the early Renaissance to the early 19th-century, to be held at the Williams Moretti Irving Gallery in New York.

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