Giacomo Manzu Cardinal 1947–8

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Artwork details

Artist
Giacomo Manzu 1908–1991
Title
Cardinal
Cardinale
Date 1947–8
Medium Bronze
Dimensions Object: 502 x 292 x 273 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1948
Reference
N05854
Not on display

Catalogue entry

Giacomo Manzù born 1908 [- 1991]

N05854 Cardinal 1947-8

Inscribed with stamp 'FONDERIA MAF MILANO | MANZÙ' at back
Bronze, 19 7/8 x 11 1/4 x 10 3/4 (50.5 x 28.5 x 27.3) on wooden base; height including base 23 1/8 (58.8)
Purchased from the artist (Knapping Fund) 1948
Exh: XXIV Biennale, Venice, May-September 1948 (Manzù 6), dated 1947; Modern Italian Art, Tate Gallery, June-July 1950 (not in catalogue); RSA, Edinburgh, April-September 1954 (47)
Lit: Anna Pacchioni, Giacomo Manzù (Milan 1948), p.41, repr. pl.78, dated 1948; Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti, Giacomo Manzù (Milan 1957), p.69, repr. pl.62; John Rewald, Giacomo Manzù (London 1966), pp.16, 19, 35, 59-63, 323, 327, repr. pl.46
Repr: John Rothenstein, The Tate Gallery (London 1958), pl.20

On a visit to St Peter's in Rome in 1934, Manzù was greatly impressed by the sight of the Pope enthroned between two seated cardinals (which in turn recalled many youthful memories). He executed his first sculpture of a cardinal two years later, but it was a failure and was subsequently destroyed, and it was not until the summer of 1938 that he made the first surviving version, a figure 65cm high. Between then and 1959 he made more than fifty sculptures of cardinals, some seated, some standing, ranging in scale from small to over life-size. With the exception of a commissioned statue of the seated Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro completed in 1953, they were all conceived without a model and the faces were invented by him. According to John Rewald, on whose account this note is based, the artist always stressed that the theme had no religious significance for him and that he treated the figures just as he would have done still life.

As is Manzù's usual practice, the present work is a unique cast and the plaster has been destroyed.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.481-2, reproduced p.481

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