A finely sculpted elegant Italian mirror. The frame is decorated with entrelacs of rosettes within rectangles with beaded edges. The upper corners are adorned with acorns and oak leaves in square medallions. On the inside an additional frame with an arched top and a beaded edge is mounted. The upper corners are decorated with triangular leaf motifs.
The frieze is decorated with an egg and dart edge and topped with a tympanum adorned with floral branches. The mirror is crowned with two sitting men in a loincloth carrying a flower basket. The figures are each carrying a finely sculpted branch with flowers and fruits.
The bottom is decorated with a skirting in the shape of a portrait medallion flanked by volutes of acanthus. The mirror rests on two conical feet decorated with acanthus leaves.
The mirror is polychromed and parcel gilt with a transparent lacquer finish.
Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo (1745-1820)
From 1787 onwards, Bonzanigo worked at the Royal court of Savoy. The work that has been attributed to him is considered to be the pinnacle of Italian Neoclassicism. His work is characterized by the distance he took from the traditional Franco-Piedmont tradition of furniture making. Born in Piedmont he moved to Turin in 1773 to work as sculptor, woodcarver and cabinet maker. He soon received the favour and protection of the royal family. He worked from Turin until the French invasion of 1796.
After the defeat of Napoléon in 1815, when the house of Savoy returned to power, he was again appointed cabinet maker of the court. Although his work shows an undeniable French influence, there is no proof of Bonzanigo ever visiting Paris.
Giancarlo Ferraris, Guiseppe Maria Bonzanigo e la scultura decorativa in legno a Torino nel periodo Neoclassico (1770-1830), Torino 1991
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