Lot N: 0242
ALFONSO BALZICO (1825 - 1901)
54 x 73 x 21 cm
Signature and dated 1871 at the back.
Born in Cava dei Tirreni, Alfonso Balzico began his artistic career at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples as a pupil of Tito Angelini, with subsequent stays in Rome, Milan and Florence. An artist of neoclassical training, he soon changed his style by adapting it in a romantic and realistic sense. In 1863, on the initiative of the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II, he moved to Turin, where, three years later, he assumed the position of "Sculptor of the Royal House". His works were exhibited on the occasion of some national art exhibitions, such as the one organized by the Società Promotrice delle Belle Arti in Turin in 1868. Among his best-known sculptures, the celebrated "Cleopatra", preserved in the National Gallery of Rome, the equestrian monument to Vittorio Emanuele II in Piazza Giovanni Bovio in Naples (based on drawings by Emilio Franceschi) and the statue of Flavio Gioia in the homonymous square in Amalfi, a work that was awarded in 1900 with the gold medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. This bust of a noblewoman, dated 1871 and therefore referable to the Turin period of Balzico's activity as Royal Sculptor (before his transfer to Naples and then to Rome in 1875), probably portrays an aristocrat of the Savoy court, wrapped in an elegant decorated dress, whose lace border is expertly rendered in marble, as are the details of the bodice and the honor at the neck.
Comparative Literature: M. Lessona, "Alfonso Balzico", Turin 1877;
G. Trezza, "Alfonso Balzico: scultore cesareo di Vittorio Emanuele II (1825-1901)", Cava dei Tirreni 1913;
A. Panzetta, "Nuovo dizionario degli scultori italiani", Turin 2003, vol. 1, pp. 68-69.