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Saint John the Baptist, c. 1590

Italian (Florentine), Italy

Saint John the Baptist is the patron saint of Florence. This statuette may have adorned a baptismal font in one of the churches of that city. In style, it recalls the works of the fifteenth-century sculptor Michelozzo di Bartolomeo. The suggestion has been made that this is his lost Saint John the Baptist, which he is described as having cast around 1450 for the Florentine church of Santissima Annunziata. Recent technical analysis indicates that the statuette was most probably cast at least a century later. It is one of several almost identical versions, though the placement of the left hand differs from the others, coming to the figure’s chest rather than being raised. In technique, the statuette is highly comparable to some of the finest bronzes produced by Giambologna and his followers. Giambologna ran the most important bronze-casting studio in late sixteenth-century Florence.



(Jean-Georges Rueff), until 1995;

purchased by a private collection, Switzerland, through (European dealer), 1995;

purchased through (European dealer) by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1999.