Large marble sculpture of a circus ringmistress by Antonio Natali
Italian, late 19th Century
Figure: Height 110cm, width 46cm, depth 33cm
Pedestal: Height 98cm, diameter 50cm
Total: Height 208cm, diameter 50cm
This superb marble sculpture is by the Italian sculptor Antonio Natali. The sculpture depicts a young woman next to a small, rearing—and roaring—dog. The woman stands in contrapposto, her right hand braced against her waist, her left holding a coiled-up whip. The woman, who’s head glances down towards the tiny dog, is a circus performer, and her job is to tame the wild, lion-like dog at her feet. The entire composition is playful and comical, a charming example of 19th century Italian sculpture.
The quality of the carving is exceptional, and Natali has convincingly portrayed a variety of textures and materials, from the dotted pants of the woman, to her ruffled sleeves, to the locks of her hair.
The sculpture, which is signed ‘A. Natali’ to the base, is raised on a carved black marble columnar pedestal.