Giovanni Bologna (Giambologna) (1529 – 1608)

Allegorical Figure of Astronomy (Venus Urania)

Model: Florence, about 1573; Cast: probably French or Italian early/mid-17th century

Bronze, with marble base

35 x 11 x 10 cm

The prime, gilt, cast of Giambologna’s much-copied ‘Astronomy’ (Vienna) was made in about 1573, and is of superlative quality. This is a relatively defective cast, with numerous casting flaws and repairs, and some coarse details, such as the sausage-like fingers. The facial features and hair, however, are crisp and refined, suggesting that this may be an early cast. Giambologna contrived the naked figure to be of interest when seen from all angles. Her attributes of prism, armillary sphere, ruler and compasses are almost incidental.

Purchased 1945 (No. 45.6)

SEE THIS SCULPTURE IN THE CASE BETWEEN THE GREEN AND RED GALLERIES