Object Record

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Catalog number 64.30
Artist Severo da Ravenna
Title Seated Satyress
Date ca. 1500
Object Name Figurine
Description The statuette shows a satyress, a mythological being who combines the characteristics of a human and a goat, seated in a frontal pose on a wooden base that has lost part of its molding. One of her hands is extended, holding what might once have been a candlestick, while the other is bent awkwardly at her side. The work is in good condition, but seems unfinished, with slightly uncontrolled modeling and a lack of fine detail.

Its composition is remarkably similar to that of another small bronze satyress, in the collection of the Museo di Palazzo Venezia, which has been attributed to the workshop of the Paduan artist Severo da Ravenna, and also to that of catalogue in this exhibition, a Seated Satyress with Child. Although the satyress sits on a very different base and is not accompanied by a child satyr, she is in nearly the same pose and is realized in almost the same style.

These similarities make it hard to unearth the precise provenance of the works or their exact relation to one another, but they also reflect an explosion of mass production that began to characterize art-making during the Renaissance. Workshops like that of Severo, which used a technique of bronze-casting that allowed creation of multiple copies of a single object, began to supply a flourishing private market for small decorative or utilitarian objects. With the increased demand came an increase in output, and a corresponding rise in artistic diffusion, to the extent that today it is often difficult to attribute bronzes to specific Paduan workshops. The widening availability of art is reflected in the number of works, like this satyress, that have survived to the present as constant influences on western art and culture. It also foreshadows the vast proliferation of artistic reproduction that characterizes the modern visual experience.
* Nava Streiter, in "SCHOLARS, EXPLORERS, PRIESTS, How the Renaissance Gave Us the Modern World," ex. cat. G -T M, Queens College, CUNY, February 2 - March 27, 2010, 39.
Medium/Material Cast bronze
Dimensions H-6.5 W-4.5 D-3.15 inches
Search Terms Renaissance
16th century AD
Greek and Roman
Metalwork, bronze
Exhibition and Publication History * "Italian Art, 15th to 18th Century: Selections from the Permanent Col.," G-TM, 1986, p. 45, # 32, ill. Suzanna Simor
* "Goddess, Worker, Mother, Symbol: Images of Women in World Art," G-TM, 1994, #37, illus. p. 25, ill., and discussion.
* "SCHOLARS, EXPLORERS, PRIESTS, How the Renaissance Gave Us the Modern World," Curated by James M. Saslow, G -T M, Queens College, CUNY, February 2 - March 27, 2010, # 39, ill.
Culture Italian