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Eighteenth Century Policromed Italian Sculpture

Period Italian sculpture

Beautiful polychrome terracotta sculpture from the early 18th century

Period Early 18th centuryHeight 8.26 inWidth 4.71 inDepth 3.14 inCOD EMI 184 Categories , , Tags ,


Description

Beautiful polychrome terracotta sculpture from the early 18th century. Its style and excellent quality suggest it was made in central Italy. The statue's iconography, depicting a figure wearing the bishop's headdress and tiara and accompanied by a child, identifies the subject as St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo. The statue has a crack at the base, which, following a conservative restoration approach, has been left visible. This sculpture's subject can be identified as St. Augustine, a great theologian and Church Father, born in Thagaste, Africa in the fourth century. The child alludes to a famous story from his life in which he met an angel on the seashore in the guise of a child who was in the midst of pouring a bucket of seawater in a small hole in the sand. The complex allegory metaphorically alludes to the human mind's inability to comprehend the mystery of the Trinity using reason and rationality alone without faith.

Technical Details

Materials Polychrome terracottaPeriod Early 18th centuryOrigin Central ItalyConditions Good condition; crack visible at base
Height 8.26 inWidth 4.71 inDepth 3.14 in

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