Italian, after Michelangelo Buonarotti (1475 - 1564)

(late 17th or early 18th century)

Moses


Terracotta
34.2 cm high

Provenance:
- Lord Northwick, Northwick Park
- Captain EG Spencer-Churchill MC, Northwick Park
- With John Winter - Jim Byam Shaw - With Artemis
- With Daniel Katz, by 2002
- Private collection, Italy

This modello in terracotta shows great mastery of the medium, from Moses’ voluminous flowing beard to the pulsating veins on the back of his hands. It was modelled after Michelangelo’s celebrated marble commissioned in 1505 by Pope Julius II for his tomb, which was eventually placed in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome in 1542.

Michelangelo’s sculptures have always been popular and copies in reduced size and various materials have been made almost from the moment he executed them, by artists eager to learn form the master, or for the private contemplation of connoisseurs. Statuettes of the Moses began to be made soon after it was unveiled. According to Vasari one in wax was made by Pierino da Vinci (1529-1553), a later version in bronze is in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum and the Moses continued to be an inspiration for centuries.

A thermo-luminescence analysis report by Oxford Authentification Ltd dated 7 March 2002 confirms that the sculpture is between 200 and 350 years old.