Two Sculpted Allegories by Giovanni Baratta Acquired by the LACMA

7/12/11 - Acquisition - Los Angeles, LACMA - The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is one of the museums which makes the most, and best, purchases in the United States. It had been a long time, however, since we had last written about the establishment and we now have much to make up for. We will be writing several news items in the upcoming weeks but, in the meantime, we would like to point out its two most recent acquisitions [1] : a pair of Italian Baroque sculptures which we had already mentioned in our article on the 2011 Maastricht fair (see article in french).
They represent two Allegories, Wealth (ill. 1) and Prudence (ill. 2), by Giovanni Baratta, offered by the Amells Gallery at his stand but which the LACMA purchased from Adam Williams, in association also with Trinity Fine Arts.

1. Giovanni Baratta (1670-1747)
Wealth, c.1703-1708
Marble - H. 182 cm
Los Angeles, County Museum of Art
Photo : LACMA

2. Giovanni Baratta (1670-1747)
Prudence, c. 1703-1708
Marble - H. 182 cm
Los Angeles, County Museum of Art
Photo : LACMA

Giovanni Baratta was the nephew of Francesco Baratta who worked with Bernini in Rome and, under his supervision, executed notably the Rio de la Plata for the Fountain of the Four Rivers in the Piazza Navona. His two brothers, Pietro Baratta and Francesco Baratta, the Younger, were also sculptors, the first active mostly in Venice and the second in Genoa. Giovanni worked as an artist in Florence essentially and is considered to have been one of the most talented sculptors of the first half of the 18th century in this city.
The two marbles had been commissioned by Niccolò Maria Giugni and were to be installed at either end of the gallery in his Florentine palace. They will join several other Tuscan sculptures from the late 17th and early 18th century which already reside at the museum in Los Angeles, notably those by Massimiliano Soldani Benzi. This purchase reflects the LACMA’s wish to develop its collection of Italian Baroque sculptures, as seen also by other recent acquisitions which we will discuss soon in a future article.

Version française

Didier Rykner, jeudi 8 décembre 2011


[1] Although the funds needed to acquire these sculptures were made possible, as is often the case for this museum, by the generosity of the Ahmanson Foundation, this was nevertheless a choice made by the curator Patrice Marandel.

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