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Message From the Gods - Tomasso Brothers Masterpiece Stand Reconstructs the Atrium of a Pompeian Villa
June 18, 2013  | 

Collectors and curators heading to the city for London Art Week, an exciting collaboration between Master Paintings Week and Master Drawings and Sculpture Week from 28 June to 5 July 2013, will receive a warm welcome at Tomasso Brothers’ elegant new gallery at 12 Duke Street, St James’s, where they will find a superb selection of European sculpture. 

Among the highlights will be a bronze figure of Mercury by Ferdinando Tacca (1619-1686), one of the great 17th century Florentine bronze sculptors who succeeded his father as court sculptor to Ferdinand II de’Medici in 1640.  The younger Tacca was the last to work in the Mannerist tradition established by Giambologna and, in fact, this 33-cm high bronze is a previously unknown variant of a Giambologna model.  Mercury, the most popular of Roman gods, was not only a guide and messenger but also the god of commerce.

Another important piece on display will be a terracotta bust of the renowned 16th century French philosopher and essayist Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) by the most important neoclassical Flemish sculptor of his time, Gilles-Lambert Godecharle (1750-1835).  This was the model for the stone bust now in the Musée d’art Ancien (Musée Royal des Beaux Arts, Brussels), one of 37 busts of famous men commissioned by Jean-Baptiste Plasschaert for the park of the Kasteel van den Heer Burggraaf de Spoelbergh on the Wespelaer estate near Leuven (Louvain).  Plasschaert was married to Jeanne-Marie Artois, a daughter of the famous brewer Leonard Artois whose brewery is known today as Stella Artois.

Visitors to Tomasso Brothers’ stand C2 at Masterpiece London, Royal Hospital Chelsea from 27 June to 3 July, will find themselves transported back to Pompeii.  The décor of the stand will be inspired by the astonishing fresco paintings, in particular from the House of Fannius in Boscoreale, and the Villa of Agrippa Postumo at Boscotrecase, both near Pompeii.  Acknowledging the wonderful aesthetic of the wall painting in this region prior to 79 AD, the stand ‘re-constructs’ a space akin to a Pompeian atrium – the reception area of any significant Roman villa.  With the works on display, Dino and Raffaello Tomasso pay homage to the Antique, the term used between the 15th and 18th centuries to refer to the civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome, then regarded as the ultimate aspiration and inspiration for any sculptor.  One of the highlights will be a monumental marble bust of Alexander the Great attributed to Bartolomeo Cavaceppi (1716-1799), modelled after the almost identical bust in Rome’s Capitoline Museum. 

Tomasso Brothers Fine Art Gallery opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6 pm Saturday 29 June, 10 am to 5 pm Sunday 30 June, 12 noon to 5 pm Other Saturdays by Appointment Masterpiece London, Stand C2 Opening hours: Thursday 27 & Friday 28 June 11 am to 9 pm Saturday 29 June & Sunday 30 June, 11 am to 7 pm Monday 1 July, 11 am to 9 pm Tuesday 2 July, 11 am to 6 pm

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