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ID number:  BIRBI-45.6
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Bologna, Giovanni (1529-1608)
Title / Object name:  Allegorical figure of Astronomy (Venus Urania)
Object type:  Sculpture
Place made:  Florence
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  Model: about 1573; Cast: early/mid 17th century
Materials:  Bronze with marble base
Measurements:  32.5 x 11 x 10cm
Provenance:  Purchased from Sotheby's, 13 July 1945, lot 102, for £105
BIRBI-45.6.jpg

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.

Notes:  Model: Florence. Cast: probably French or Italian, early/mid-17th century.
Plinth: 9.5 x 14.5 x 14.5cm.

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