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Monumental Lions on View at Frieze Masters
October 2, 2013  | 

Visitors to the stand of Tomasso Brothers Fine Art at Frieze Masters, Regent’s Park, London, will be relieved that these ferocious feasting lions are made of marble.

This striking pair of sculptures was created by the Italian sculptor and architect, Giovanni Battista Foggini. First apprenticed to two successive painters, Foggini showed a greater propensity for sculpture and, in 1673, was sent by Cosimi III de’Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, to study in the new Accademia Fiorentina in Rome.  On his return three years later, he immediately received commissions from the Medici court and rapidly established himself as the foremost Florentine sculptor of the late Baroque period.

The lions are first recorded as being on the loose in the UK at Grimston Park, Tadcaster, Yorkshire, around 1840, and seem to have remained with successive owners of the property until 1872 when they were sold to John Fielden MP.  They were lasted recorded as being acquired by Don Bartome March in  Mallorca in 1965. 

Frieze Masters will feature some ninety of the world’s leading galleries and aims to give a contemporary perspective on the relationship between old and new art, from ancient times to the 20th century. 

Based at Bardon Hall, Leeds, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art was established in 1993 and opened in London at 12 Duke Street, St James’s, in May 2013.  Dino and Raffaello are recognised internationally for specialising in important European sculpture from the early Renaissance to the Neoclassical periods with a particular knowledge of European Renaissance bronzes.  They have promoted and supported, through loans and exhibitions, major international institutions and were one of the sponsors of the landmark show Bronze at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2012.  Significant sales have been made to some of the world’s most prestigious museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Bode Museum, Berlin; The Liechtenstein Collection, Vienna; Yale Center for British Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. 

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