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A very fine neoclassical agate intaglio signed Calandrelli. Ulysses and his companions blinding the eye of Polyphemus. 1820-1830 circa42 x 59 x 4 mmThis remarkable large agate intaglio, signed below CALANDRELLI, depicts the famous scene in which Ulysses and his companions are ready to blind the cyclops in his cave, after falling asleep for drinking wine. On the right Ulysses, recognizable by his typical headdress, pushes the base of the long inflamed wooden pole, directed towards the eye of Polyphemus, helped by his companion; wearing an helmet and a cloack covering an armor. A third character is instead behind the monstrous cyclops, to monitor the action, armed with a spear and always dressed with helmet, armor and cloak. The cyclops, who occupies the most prominent central position, is intoxicated and seated on the ground, with his head bowed over his left arm, resting on the raised knee, as a sign of yielding to sleep; instead his right arm is abandoned towards the ground, near the emptied cup. The scene is set inside the cave, with masterfully rendered rocks. The same delicacy is used to make the smoke coming out of the tip of the bursting pole.The scene is set according to a well-balanced structure and studied by the artist, as evidenced by one of his drawings (Berlin) which undoubtedly constitutes the faithful preparatory model for this gem: the correspondance between the preparatory drawing and the agate carving it is in fact very strong, almost total, except for some aesthetic variations (as often happened during the execution phase).There is a second variant of the same scene, always attributed to Calandrelli but signed in Greek as Demophilos (????????? ??????), made for the Prince Poniatowski. The attribution of the drawing to Calandrelli is certain; the attribution to Calandrelli for the Poniatowski intaglio (currently missing and testified by the plaster cast ) may not be so sure. The style of the int

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