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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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)

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