IGNAZIO COLLINO (Turin, 1724 1793) ET FILIPPO COLLINO (Turin, vers 1737 1800)
Italian school, last quarter of the 18th century Bridge
marble H. 50 cm, W. 61 cm, D. 30 cm
Key figures in the early days of neoclassical sculpture in Italy, the Collino brothers have always worked and signed jointly. After training in Rome with Giovanni Battista Maini, who had them make copies of antiques for the Court of Savoy, the two brothers returned permanently to Turin where they worked for the Court. For example, they made the Monument of Charles Emmanuel III to the Basilica of Superga in 1786. Our marble sculpture representing Cleopatra dying is directly related to a terracotta attributed by the Professor of the University of Bologna, Andrea Bacchi, to Ignazio and Filippo Collino (fig. 1). This work would thus constitute the modello of our work. We find here, even more marked than on the terracotta, the stylistic characteristics of the two sculptors, a measured classicism of the face (comparable to that of Proserpine signed and kept in the Pavlosk Museum) as well as clothes with tight folds in the antique style, as can be seen on the back. Every detail of the terracotta has been meticulously transcribed in the marble, the theatrical pose of the subject, the draping of the ermine lined coat or the jewels in the hair. The dimensions, the refined character of the work and the quality of the marble suggest that this sculpture was created to be installed in an interior.
The success of the Collino brothers rests above all on their works in marble, made in Bridge marble (Turin), whose quarries were reopened at the request of the two artists in order to have at their disposal a large stock and less expensive than Carrara marble. Ignazio and Filippo Collino were the most original interpreters in Italy of the nascent neoclassical sculpture before the consecration of Antonio Canova.
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