Saturday, May 13, 2017

Raffaello Romanelli 1856 - 1928 - Shepherd Boy 1910

I love museums and can spend hours exploring them.  When I lived in New York, I loved spending time at the Met.  When I lived in San Francisco, I had memberships to the Legion of Honor, and the De Young.  It's great being able to see in person, masterpieces created through the centuries.  At the De Young, there is a room of American artists which features mostly paintings, but also has some nice marble statues.  There is marble statue of Delilah by William Wetmore Story that is very striking.  There's another in the same room - Penelope by Franklin Simmons, also beautiful.  Classic marble statuary is not something you see every day.  So imagine my joy in finding just such an example for my collection!

No, this piece is not of the same caliber as the two masterpieces I mentioned above, but it is a beautiful example from the late Nouveau period.  It's a sculpture of a shepherd boy or goat herder taking a break.  He sits relaxed on a stone, his staff resting beside him, a water jug strapped to his waist, and a piece of food in his hand.  He stares peacefully off into the distance - perhaps keeping an eye on his flock.  The piece is in marble and signed Romanelli 1910.  It is likely the work of Raffaello Romanelli (  The Romanelli's are a multi-generational family of artists and they still have a studio in Firenze, Italy today.

I contacted them to inquire about the piece.  They said it was quite likely that it was carved by Raffaello, or by the gallery at the time.  I'm assuming he had artisans and craftsmen working for him that may have produced pieces like this.  His larger works are typically signed Prof. Raffaello Romanelli.  I don't know if he signed it differently because of the size or because it was produced by his studio.  Regardless, it is a museum quality marble statue that I simply love!  I'm thrilled to add it to my collection. (click for larger images)

UPDATE: I added a picture of me with the statue to show scale - I realized I never mentioned the size!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Alan Davis Fantastic Four

I've been a big fan of Alan Davis for many years, and I buy every comic he draws.  He's always been one of my favorite comic book artists, and over time, he has become one of the best to ever work in the industry.  I think he reached a high point with two different series.  The first was Justice League of America: The Nail, which he wrote and drew.  There was also a terrific follow up several years later (and he was that much better as an artist) called Another Nail. The other series was Fantastic Four: The End.  Davis wrote and drew this as well, and I think it's a great series.  I don't think it's a coincidence that his best artwork was also on the books he wrote himself.  He was clearly more invested in these series and it shows in the art.  And the storytelling is as good or better than any mainstream writer in comics.  He's that good.  I'd always hoped to add a Davis piece to my collection but never found the right one.  I hit upon some good luck recently and was able to acquire a few pieces from Fantastic Four: The End.  I'm posting one of the better pages here, an epic battle between the FF and their longtime foe, Dr. Doom!  I'll let the art speak for itself, but I would be remiss not to mention Mark Farmer who has inked nearly everything Alan has ever drawn.  He's an insanely talented inker, and he really brinks the pencils to life.  (click for larger image)