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Past Exhibition

All Objects

  • A sculpture with a body carved from variegated red and white marble, and the head of a woman that is cast from bronze

    Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Herm of Bacchus, 1773
    Bronze, alabastro a rosa, bianco e nero antico, and africano verde
    h. 68 7/8 in. (175 cm)
    Galleria Borghese, Rome
    Mauro Magliani

    One of Valadier’s most lyrical works, this herm designed for Palazzo Borghese in Rome was intended to imitate and respond to ancient objects in the family’s celebrated collection. The main body of the sculpture is carved out of alabastro a rosa, a rare colored marble, to which Valadier added the bronze head of Bacchus.

  • twelve sided marble table

    Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Table with Dodecagonal Porphyry Top (one of two), 1773
    Giallo anticoportasantabianco e nero antico, gilt wood, gilt bronze, and porphyry
    36 5/8 × 55 1/8 × 34 5/8 in. (93 × 140 × 88 cm)
    Galleria Borghese, Rome
    Mauro Magliani

    Two tables of the same design were made by Valadier for Palazzo Borghese in Rome and were subsequently moved to the family’s villa (only one is displayed in the exhibition). The tables have sumptuous porphyry tops and bases in colored marbles. Each base is decorated with four extraordinary golden masks representing the Seasons. The tables were originally surmounted by porphyry and gilt-bronze candelabra (now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Clock for Don Abbondio Rezzonico, 1765–70
    Gilt bronze, shagreen, and other materials
    clock, 26 3/4 × 11 3/4 × 6 3/4 in. (68 × 30 × 17 cm);
    bracket, 12 5/8 × 13 3/8 × 8 5/8 in. (32 × 34 × 22 cm)
    Private collection

    Valadier designed this clock for the nephew of Pope Clement XIII, Abbondio Rezzonico, who was made senator of Rome in June 1765. A representation of the she-wolf, the symbol of the city of Rome, decorates the top, and the Rezzonico family coat of arms is at the bottom. The clock is adorned with gilt bronze and green shagreen (zigrino in Italian), a leather covering often made from the skin of a shark or ray.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Coffee Pot with the Chigi Coat of Arms, 1777
    Silver
    h. 15 in. (38 cm)
    Private collection
    Michael Bodycomb

    This coffee pot may have been created to celebrate the marriage, in 1776, of Prince Sigismondo Chigi and Maria Giovanna Medici d’Ottaiano. Its details denote a taste for archaeological motifs. The female head supporting the spout reflects Valadier’s enduring interest in Roman antiquities. Two unusual details are the high neck, which lends atypical proportions to the coffee pot, and the overlay of a leaf on the wooden handle.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Soup Bowl with Dish and Spoon (Écuelle), 1778–79
    Gilt silver
    tureen, 6 1/8 × 12 × 7 1/8 in. (15.5 × 30.5 × 18 cm);
    spoon, h. 7 1/4 in. (18.5 cm)
    Museo di Roma, Palazzo Braschi, Rome
    © Roma — Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali — Museo di Roma; photo Mauro Magliani

    A small covered bowl accompanied by a dish and a spoon, an écuelle, was sometimes given — particularly in France and Germany — to a new mother to celebrate the birth of her child. The two doves at the top of this écuelle may represent the love between the parents of a newborn. This particular object, which is indebted to French models, is close in style to works designed by Luigi’s father, André.

  • Luigi (1726–1785) or Giuseppe (1762–1839) Valadier
    Soup Tureen with the Chigi Coat of Arms, ca. 1770–93
    Silver
    10 5/8 × 14 3/8 × 7 3/4 in. (27 × 36.5 × 19.5 cm)
    Private collection
    Mauro Magliani

    This tureen is part of a large silver service created for Prince Sigismondo Chigi. After Luigi’s death, in 1785, the service was completed by his son, Giuseppe. The tureen’s design illustrates the similarity between the styles of father and son in the 1780s and 1790s. The supports, fashioned like lions’ paws, are close to Luigi’s designs, but the handles are more typical of Giuseppe’s style. The prominently engraved coat of arms emphasizes the Chigi patronage.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Soup Tureen and Tray, ca. 1780
    Silver
    tureen 17 3/8 × 13 3/4 × 8 1/4 in. (44 × 35 × 21 cm);
    tray 19 1/4 × 11 3/4 in. (49 × 30 cm)
    Private collection

    This large oval-shaped soup tureen stands on four animal paws. Lions’ heads with rings serve as handles, and the cover displays the figure of a little girl with a brazier. It is likely one of four tureens designed with the symbols of the Seasons. This one (the only survival) represents Winter.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Spoon, 1783
    Gilt silver
    h. 8 5/8 in. (22 cm)
    Collection Olivier and Desiree Berggruen
    Michael Bodycomb

    In the 1780s, Valadier produced a large and impressive silver service for the Borghese family in Rome. Only a few pieces survive, among them, this delicate spoon with the design of a Medusa head on its handle. The rest of the service’s flatware was decorated with similar motifs.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Oil Lamp for the Marriage of Two Members of the Vinci and Morrone Families from Fermo, 1770–80
    Silver
    h. 32 7/8 in. (83.5 cm)
    Private collection, Rome

    This is one of two very similar oil lamps on view in the exhibition. Both have a particular virtuoso treatment in the foot with a scalloped edge, supported by double scrolls with a shell in the middle. The arm of each lamp is adjustable, and the contoured shades were meant to be engraved with coats of arms. This particular lamp displays those of the Vinci and Morrone families from the town of Fermo, in the Marche.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Oil Lamp, 1770–80
    Silver
    h. 31 1/2 in. (80 cm)
    Collection Marina Kellen French
    Michael Bodycomb

    This is one of two very similar oil lamps on view in the exhibition. Both have a particular virtuoso treatment in the foot with a scalloped edge, supported by double scrolls with a shell in the middle. The arm of each lamp is adjustable, and the contoured shades were meant to be engraved with coats of arms.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for an Oil Lamp, 1770–80
    Pen, brown ink, and gray wash on paper
    14 1/8 x 9 7/8 in. (360 x 250 mm)
    Collection Marina Kellen French
    Michael Bodycomb

    This drawing is closely related to two silver oil lamps displayed in the exhibition (Private collection, Rome; Collection Marina Kellen French). Valadier’s workshop likely produced numerous objects of this type, several of which are known to have survived.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Caddinet (cadenas) with the Coat of Arms of Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York, ca. 1785
    Gilt silver
    4 × 14 7/8 × 11 7/8 in. (10 × 37.7 × 30.3 cm)
    Lent by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
    Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018

    Trays on which cutlery, bread, and salt were set, caddinets (cadenas in French or panettiera in Italian) were initially used only by sovereigns and princes of the blood but later, in the eighteenth century, by the aristocracy. Valadier designed a number of such objects, but this is the only surviving one. It was created for Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart (1725–1807), Duke of York, the son of James Stuart, the Old Pretender, and younger brother of Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, “Bonnie Prince Charlie.” With the death of Cardinal Stuart, the family of Catholic pretenders to the English throne came to an end.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Casket (cantinetta) for Wine Bottles with the Coat of Arms of Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York, before 1788
    Gilt silver
    13 × 13 3/8 × 9 in. (33 × 34 × 23 cm)
    Giordano Art Collections, Italy

    This casket (cantinetta in Italian), like the caddinet also featured in the exhibition, was designed for Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart, Duke of York. The eagles, bucrania, and Stuart coat of arms match the decoration of the caddinet. The two objects, now in different collections, have been brought together for this exhibition.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for an Inkstand, 1764
    Pen and brown ink, with brown and red wash, over graphite on paper
    14 3/4 × 20 5/8 in. (375 × 524 mm)
    Morgan Library & Museum, New York
    The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

    Valadier designed a number of inkstands, though none survive. This drawing depicts an inkstand — in gilt silver or bronze — that includes two candlesticks. It was inspired by an engraving by Juste-Aurèle Meissonier (1695–1750) that has ink containers with a similar contour.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for a Trembleuse (Digiuné), before 1762
    Pen, brown ink, and brown and ocher wash on paper
    13 1/8 × 9 3/8 in. (334 × 239 mm).
    Private collection
    Michael Bodycomb

    A salver made to support two cups — one in porcelain for chocolate or coffee and the other in glass for water — and a dish for biscuits or cakes (in the middle) is known as a trembleuse and in Rome as a digiuné, from the French déjeuner (lunch or meal). With its free ornamental motifs and its lightness, the design of this trembleuse is French in style. The glass for water, on the left, is held by reeds, while the porcelain cup for coffee or chocolate, on the right, is supported by a metal decoration with small beans, which may be related to both exotic plants and drinks.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for a Trembleuse (Digiuné) with the Boncompagni and Chigi Heraldic Emblems, before 1762
    Pen and brown ink, with gray, yellow, and brown wash, over graphite on paper
    11 1/2 × 9 5/8 in. (293 × 244 mm)
    Voena Collection

    The decorative motifs in this design consist of small oak branches with a dragon nesting among them. These refer to the coats of arms of the Chigi (oak) and Boncompagni (dragon) families. It is likely that the trembleuse (now lost) was designed for Gaetano Boncompagni Ludovisi (1706–1777) and his wife Laura Chigi (1707–1792). This drawing shows the design for the object from the front and from above.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Bas-Relief with the Crucifixion of St. Peter, ca. 1770
    Gilt bronze, lapis lazuli, and silver
    diam., 17 1⁄4 in. (43.8 cm); frame, 21 1/2 × 21 1/2 in. (54.6 × 54.6 cm)
    The Art Institute of Chicago
    The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY

    This framed bas-relief reproduces the Crucifixion of St. Peter, the celebrated painting by the Bolognese artist Guido Reni (1575–1642), now in the Pinacoteca Vaticana in Rome. It was probably created about the time Valadier was at work on the high altar of the Cathedral of Monreale. Because of the costly materials used, this devotional object must have been made for a prominent and wealthy patron.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    St. Louis, ca. 1773
    Gilt bronze and silver
    48 × 13 × 15 in. (122 × 33 × 38 cm)
    Cathedral of Santa Maria la Nuova, Monreale
    Mauro Magliani

    Between 1768 and 1773, Valadier created the magnificent silver high altar (still in situ) for the Cathedral of Monreale, in Sicily. The altar was decorated with bas-reliefs showing scenes from the life of the Virgin (to whom the church was dedicated). For the top of the altar, Valadier created silver statues of six saints closely associated with Monreale — St. Louis, St. Castrense, St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Benedict, and St. Rosalia. These prodigious statues are on display in the exhibition for the first time outside of Monreale.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    St. Castrense, ca. 1773
    Gilt bronze and silver
    44 7/8 × 13 × 15 in. (114 × 33 × 38 cm)
    Cathedral of Santa Maria la Nuova, Monreale
    Mauro Magliani

    Between 1768 and 1773, Valadier created the magnificent silver high altar (still in situ) for the Cathedral of Monreale, in Sicily. The altar was decorated with bas-reliefs showing scenes from the life of the Virgin (to whom the church was dedicated). For the top of the altar, Valadier created silver statues of six saints closely associated with Monreale — St. Louis, St. Castrense, St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Benedict, and St. Rosalia. These prodigious statues are on display in the exhibition for the first time outside of Monreale.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    St. Paul, ca. 1773
    Gilt bronze and silver
    42 1/2 × 13 × 15 in. (108 × 33 × 38 cm)
    Cathedral of Santa Maria la Nuova, Monreale
    Mauro Magliani

    Between 1768 and 1773, Valadier created the magnificent silver high altar (still in situ) for the Cathedral of Monreale, in Sicily. The altar was decorated with bas-reliefs showing scenes from the life of the Virgin (to whom the church was dedicated). For the top of the altar, Valadier created silver statues of six saints closely associated with Monreale — St. Louis, St. Castrense, St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Benedict, and St. Rosalia. These prodigious statues are on display in the exhibition for the first time outside of Monreale.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    St. Peter, ca. 1773
    Gilt bronze and silver
    42 7/8 × 13 × 15 in. (109 × 33 × 38 cm)
    Cathedral of Santa Maria la Nuova, Monreale
    Mauro Magliani

    Between 1768 and 1773, Valadier created the magnificent silver high altar (still in situ) for the Cathedral of Monreale, in Sicily. The altar was decorated with bas-reliefs showing scenes from the life of the Virgin (to whom the church was dedicated). For the top of the altar, Valadier created silver statues of six saints closely associated with Monreale — St. Louis, St. Castrense, St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Benedict, and St. Rosalia. These prodigious statues are on display in the exhibition for the first time outside of Monreale.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    St. Benedict, ca. 1773
    Gilt bronze and silver
    44 1/8 × 13 × 15 in. (112 × 33 × 38 cm)
    Cathedral of Santa Maria la Nuova, Monreale
    Mauro Magliani

    Between 1768 and 1773, Valadier created the magnificent silver high altar (still in situ) for the Cathedral of Monreale, in Sicily. The altar was decorated with bas-reliefs showing scenes from the life of the Virgin (to whom the church was dedicated). For the top of the altar, Valadier created silver statues of six saints closely associated with Monreale — St. Louis, St. Castrense, St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Benedict, and St. Rosalia. These prodigious statues are on display in the exhibition for the first time outside of Monreale.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    St. Rosalia, ca. 1773
    Gilt bronze and silver
    42 1/8 × 13 × 15 in. (107 × 33 × 38 cm) 
    Cathedral of Santa Maria la Nuova, Monreale
    Mauro Magliani

    Between 1768 and 1773, Valadier created the magnificent silver high altar (still in situ) for the Cathedral of Monreale, in Sicily. The altar was decorated with bas-reliefs showing scenes from the life of the Virgin (to whom the church was dedicated). For the top of the altar, Valadier created silver statues of six saints closely associated with Monreale — St. Louis, St. Castrense, St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Benedict, and St. Rosalia. These prodigious statues are on display in the exhibition for the first time outside of Monreale.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for a Monstrance, after 1762
    Pen, brown ink, and gray and brown wash on paper
    15 × 9 7⁄8 in. (380 × 252 mm)
    Private collection
    Michael Bodycomb

    In January 1767, Valadier displayed, in his workshop on Via del Babuino, a large and lavish monstrance intended for a church in Mexico. Decorated with symbols of the Evangelists, with the figures of Faith, Hope, and Charity, and with putti, cherubs, and symbols of the Passion of Christ, the gilt-silver piece was further enhanced by twelve thousand white topazes. Unfortunately, this sumptuous object is lost, but this drawing is likely related to that commission.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Cardinal Orsini Mass Service, ca. 1768
    Gilt silver
    Capitolo Concattedrale, Muro Lucano
    Mauro Magliani

    This extraordinary gilt-silver mass service was made for Cardinal Domenico Orsini d’Aragona (1719–1789) for use in his private chapel in the family palazzo in Rome. Each piece is decorated with the Orsini family coat of arms. Probably after the cardinal’s death, it reached the Cathedral of Muro Lucano, in the south of Italy, since Cardinal Orsini, who had many titles, was Count of Muro Lucano. This ensemble is a rare example of ecclesiastical silverwork from eighteenth-century Rome.

  • Antonio Asprucci (1723–1808)
    Design for the Altar of the Cappella Paolina, ca. 1760
    Black chalk and brown ink on paper
    15 x 16 7/8 in. (380 x 430 mm)
    Private collection
    Michael Bodycomb

    In 1760, Prince Camillo Borghese commissioned the refurbishment of his family chapel in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, known as the Cappella Paolina as it was the burial site for Paul V, the Borghese pope. Antonio Asprucci designed a new altar for the chapel, for which Valadier provided the bronze decoration. This is Asprucci’s original design for the altar.

  • Workshop of Antonio Asprucci (1723–1808)
    Design for the Altar of the Cappella Paolina, ca. 1760
    Pen, black ink, and watercolor over black chalk on paper
    11 5/8 × 20 in. (295 × 507 mm)
    Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York
    Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum / Art Resource, NY

    This is probably Asprucci’s presentation model for the altar of the Borghese Chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore. Two different options are given for the marble decoration. The final altar was decorated with a third color scheme not shown in this drawing. Work on the chapel continued under the supervision of Prince Camillo Borghese’s son, Marcantonio IV, one of Valadier’s great patrons.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Altar Card Frames for the Cappella Paolina, 1762
    Lapis lazuli, silver, and gilt bronze
    central frame, 19 1/4 × 22 7/8 × 4 in. (49 × 58 × 10 cm);
    lateral frames, 13 5/8 × 11 3/4 × 2 3/4 in. (34.5 × 30 × 7 cm)
    Museo del Tesoro della Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
    Mauro Magliani

    These frames for cartagloria (altar cards) were created for the altar of the Borghese Chapel — the Cappella Paolina — in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Altar cards displayed specific prayers that were regularly recited during the mass and were meant to serve as memory aids for priests. The elaborate design and rich materials of these frames convey their prestigious patron.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    The Triumph of Bacchus, 1780
    Agate, alabaster, ancient hardstones, ancient glass paste, gold, gilt metal, and gilt bronze
    24 3/4 × 25 × 5 7/8 in. (63 × 63.5 × 15.5 cm);
    cameo only, 11 3/8 × 16 1/4 in. (28.8 × 41.2 cm)
    Musée du Louvre, Paris
    © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY. Photo: Les frères Chuzeville

    In 1780, Valadier mounted a collection of ancient cameos for Pope Pius VI. These had belonged to Cardinal Gaspare Carpegna (1625–1714) before they entered the papal collection. For The Triumph of Bacchus, one of the most celebrated ancient cameos, Valadier created an extraordinarily inventive frame using other ancient cameos and engraved gems. The piece is supported by reduced replicas of two Egyptian lions, which are on the Fountain of the Acqua Felice in Rome.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Bacchus and Ariadne, 1780–85
    Alabastro d’Orta, bronze and gilt bronze, ancient intaglios and cameos, crystal, ancient glass paste, sculpted fragments
    21 5/8 × 19 3/4 × 5 7/8 in. (55 × 50 × 15 cm);
    cameo only, 6 3/4 × 9 7/8 in. (17 × 25 cm)
    Musée du Louvre, Paris
    © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY

    The cameo of Bacchus and Ariadne had also belonged to Cardinal Carpegna, like The Triumph of Bacchus. Made of glass, and not stone, it is an exceedingly rare object. Valadier conceived for it a grand frame into which he inserted small cameos and ancient fragments. One of the two bronze goats at the top is ancient, while the other was created by Valadier to match it.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Pair of Vases for Madame Du Barry, 1773
    Statuary marble, porphyry, and gilt bronze
    20 3/4 x 14 1/4 in. (52.5 x 36 cm) (each)
    Mobilier National, on deposit at the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon
    © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY; photo Gérard Blot http://www.chateauversailles.fr/ 

    The form of this pair of vases is based on the Medici Vase (Uffizi Galleries, Florence). In white marble and porphyry, with gilt-bronze reliefs following ancient models, the vases were created for Jeanne Bécu, Madame Du Barry (1743–1793), the mistress of King Louis XV of France. They were delivered to her in Paris, from Rome, in May 1773.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Egyptian Clock
    1785
    Hardstones, various marbles, gilt bronze, and mosaic
    24 3/4 × 14 1/8 × 9 1/2 in. (63 × 36 × 24 cm)
    Private collection
    Mauro Magliani

    As well as being interested in classical antiquity, eighteenth-century patrons also had a taste for ancient Egyptian art. The Borghese family commissioned an entire Egyptian-style room for their villa on the outskirts of Rome. Valadier designed this extraordinary clock with Egyptian motifs for Villa Borghese.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    The Three Graces Holding a Tazza, 1778
    Bronze, gilt bronze, Aswan granite, alabastro fiorito, and porphyry
    31 3/4 × 12 3/4 in. (80.5 × 32.5 cm)
    The Royal Collections, Sweden
    © Alexis Daflos, The Royal Court, Sweden

    One of the bronzes created for King Gustav III of Sweden (1746–1792), this object is based on a celebrated ancient marble group that was, at the time, in the Borghese collection. Valadier reduced the composition and made it into the bronze base for a porphyry cup (tazza).
  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Vase, ca. 1775–80
    Rosso Appennino marble and gilt silver
    8 3/4 x 5 7/8 x 3 7/8 in. (22.2 x 14.9 x 9.8 cm)
    The Frick Collection, New York

    This vase resembles the drawn modello by Valadier. It is small but of exquisite quality and made with an exotic and seldom used marble, rosso Appennino. This is the only known marble object by Valadier to have gilt-silver mounts. The acorn on the top suggests that the vase may have been commissioned by the Chigi family, whose coat of arms included oak branches.

  • Workshop of Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for a Porphyry Vase with Candlesticks, ca. 1772
    Pen, ink, and watercolor on paper
    11 × 6 1/2 in. (279 × 166 mm)
    Museo Napoleonico, Rome
    © Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali — Museo Napoleonico

    The vase depicted here would have had a dual use. It was fitted with branches for candles, but its lid also could be removed and the vase filled with flowers. This highly finished drawing is one of many by Valadier depicting vases decorated with lions’ masks holding rings in their mouths. Several vases following this design, in different materials, are known.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Two Tazzas, ca. 1780
    White marble and gilt bronze
    h. 7 5/8 in. (19.5 cm)
    Private collection
    Mauro Magliani

    Winged monopodial lions support two small marble bowls (tazza in Italian). The interior of each tazza is decorated with a Medusa head. The design for these objects was used by Valadier a number of times, including for containers in the first deser of the Bailli de Breteuil. These two were probably made about the same time Valadier was at work on the Madrid deser. 

  • Attributed to Giuseppe Valadier (1762–1839) and Carlo Albacini (active 1780–1807)
    Reduction of the Temple of Isis in Pompeii, ca. 1800
    Alabaster, Corsican jasper, rosso antico, lumachella, porphyry, and gilt bronze
    14 1/8 × 27 × 29 in. (36 × 68.5 × 73.5 cm)
    Museo di Capodimonte, Naples
    © Archivio dell'Arte / Luciano e Marco Pedicini

    This is a splendid reduction of the Temple of Isis, one of the most admired monuments discovered in Pompeii. Made out of alabaster and various colored marbles, it was probably designed by Valadier’s son, Giuseppe, and by Carlo Albacini. This object may have been part of a large deser, possibly one decorated with reductions of ruins of Pompeii, a preparatory drawing for which survives in Naples.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Faustina the Younger, ca. 1778
    Bronze
    h. 20 1/8 in. (51 cm)
    Nationalmuseum, Stockholm
    Photo Nationalmuseum

    While in Rome, about 1778, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel commissioned a series of bronze reductions of famous classical statues for King Gustav III of Sweden. The five shown in the exhibition (from a much larger group) — Antinous, Ludovisi Ares, Apollo Sauroctonos, Cleopatra (today called Ariadne), and Faustina the Younger — are uniform in quality, chasing, and patina and sit on beautifully designed bases in cipollino marble. It was common for foreign rulers and aristocrats to own small versions of some of the best-known statues from Roman antiquity.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Ludovisi Ares, ca. 1778
    Bronze
    11 7/8 × 4 × 5 1/2 in. (30.2 × 10 × 14 cm)
    Nationalmuseum, Stockholm
    Photo Nationalmuseum

    While in Rome, about 1778, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel commissioned a series of bronze reductions of famous classical statues for King Gustav III of Sweden. The five shown in the exhibition (from a much larger group) — Antinous, Ludovisi Ares, Apollo Sauroctonos, Cleopatra (today called Ariadne), and Faustina the Younger — are uniform in quality, chasing, and patina and sit on beautifully designed bases in cipollino marble. It was common for foreign rulers and aristocrats to own small versions of some of the best-known statues from Roman antiquity.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Cleopatra (today called Ariadne), ca. 1778
    Bronze
    10 1/4 × 8 1/4 × 3 1/2 in. (26 × 21 × 9 cm) 
    The Royal Collections, Sweden
    © Lisa Raihle Rehbäck, The Royal Court, Sweden

    While in Rome, about 1778, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel commissioned a series of bronze reductions of famous classical statues for King Gustav III of Sweden. The five shown in the exhibition (from a much larger group) — Antinous, Ludovisi Ares, Apollo Sauroctonos, Cleopatra (today called Ariadne), and Faustina the Younger — are uniform in quality, chasing, and patina and sit on beautifully designed bases in cipollino marble. It was common for foreign rulers and aristocrats to own small versions of some of the best-known statues from Roman antiquity.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Antinous, ca. 1778
    Bronze
    13 3/8 × 3 3/4 × 3 1/2 in. (34 × 9.5 × 9 cm) 
    The Royal Collections, Sweden
    © Lisa Raihle Rehbäck, The Royal Court, Sweden

    While in Rome, about 1778, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel commissioned a series of bronze reductions of famous classical statues for King Gustav III of Sweden. The five shown in the exhibition (from a much larger group) — Antinous, Ludovisi Ares, Apollo Sauroctonos, Cleopatra (today called Ariadne), and Faustina the Younger — are uniform in quality, chasing, and patina and sit on beautifully designed bases in cipollino marble. It was common for foreign rulers and aristocrats to own small versions of some of the best-known statues from Roman antiquity.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Apollo Sauroctonos, ca1778
    Bronze
    13 5/8 × 4 3/8 × 4 3/8 in. (34.5 × 11 × 11 cm)
    The Royal Collections, Sweden
    © Lisa Raihle Rehbäck, The Royal Court, Sweden

    While in Rome, about 1778, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel commissioned a series of bronze reductions of famous classical statues for King Gustav III of Sweden. The five shown in the exhibition (from a much larger group) — Antinous, Ludovisi Ares, Apollo Sauroctonos, Cleopatra (today called Ariadne), and Faustina the Younger — are uniform in quality, chasing, and patina and sit on beautifully designed bases in cipollino marble. It was common for foreign rulers and aristocrats to own small versions of some of the best-known statues from Roman antiquity.

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Plateau of the Madrid Deser, ca. 1778
    Various marbles and hardstones, gilt bronze, and enamel
    4 7/8 × 110 1/4 × 32 5/8 in. (12.5 × 280 × 83 cm)
    Patrimonio Nacional, Palacio Real, Madrid
    © Patrimonio Nacional

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Reduction of the Temple of Flora, ca. 1778
    Lapis lazuli, giallo antico, gilt bronze, and enamel
    h. 18 7/8 in. (48 cm); diam. 16 3/4 in. (42.5 cm)
    Patrimonio Nacional, Palacio Real, Madrid
    © Patrimonio Nacional

     

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Pair of Exedras, ca. 1778
    Alabaster, pavonazzetto, and gilt bronze
    13 × 18 1/2 × 10 5/8 in. (33 × 47 × 27 cm) (each)
    Patrimonio Nacional, Palacio Real, Madrid
    © Patrimonio Nacional

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Reduction of the Arch of Septimius Severus at the Velabrum, or Arcus Argentariorum, ca. 1778
    Green and yellow jasper, giallo antico, pavonazzetto, amber, and gilt bronze
    10 5/8 × 9 7/8 × 5 1/2 in. (27 × 25 × 14 cm)
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid
    Fernando Velasco Mora

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Reduction of the Arch of Trajan in Ancona, ca. 1778
    Green jasper, verde di Corsica, porphyry, lapis lazuli, and gilt bronze
    12 3/8 × 11 1/8 × 6 in. (31.5 × 28.3 × 15.2 cm)
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid
     

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Reduction of the Temple of Mercury, ca. 1778
    Lapis lazuli, amethyst, garnet, red porphyry, portasanta, green porphyry, and gilt bronze
    17 7/8 × 17 3/8 in. (45.5 × 44 cm)
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Reduction of the Temple of Minerva, ca. 1778
    Verde di Corsica, gilt bronze, giallo antico, bianco e nero antico, alabaster, ivory, and porphyry
    20 1/2 × 15 in. (52 × 38 cm)
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid
    Ángel Martínez Levas

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Monument with Four Columns, ca. 1778
    Green jasper, alabaster, and gilt bronze
    18 3/4 × 7 3/4 × 5 1/2 in. (47.5 × 19.7 × 14 cm)
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Pair of Obelisks, ca. 1778
    Porphyry and gilt bronze
    15 × 2 1/8 in. (38 × 5.5 cm) (each)
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid
    Juan Carlos Quindós de la Fuente

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Pair of Pedestals of the Reduction of the Temple of Flora, ca. 1778
    Statuary marble and gilt bronze
    4 × 17 3/8 in. (10 × 44 cm) (each)
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid
    Raúl Fernández Ruiz

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Salt Cellar, ca. 1778
    Porphyry, rosso antico, and gilt bronze
    4 3/8 × 4 3/8 × 3 in. (11 × 11 × 7.5 cm)
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid
    Juan Carlos Quindós de la Fuente

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Salt Cellar (some details missing), ca. 1778
    Jasper, reddish alabaster, and gilt bronze
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid
    Juan Carlos Quindós de la Fuente

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Triumphal Column Supporting a Vase, ca. 1778
    Red Sicilian jasper, agate, and gilt bronze
    17 3/8 × 2 3/4 in. (44 × 7 cm)
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid
    Juan Carlos Quindós de la Fuente

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Two Obelisks, ca. 1778
    Rosso antico and gilt bronze
    22 7/8 × 2 7/8 in. (58 × 7.2 cm) (each)
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid
    Juan Carlos Quindós de la Fuente

  • Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Pair of Rostral Columns, ca. 1778
    Rosso antico, alabaster, and gilt bronze
    15 7/8 × 4 in. (40.2 × 10 cm) (each)
    Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid
    Raúl Fernández Ruiz

  • Workshop of Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for a Cup with the Borghese Graces, ca. 1778
    Pen, ink, and watercolor on paper
    7 1/2 × 5 1/2 in. (189 × 139 mm)
    Museo Napoleonico, Rome
    © Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali — Museo Napoleonico

    An early description of the deser of the Bailli de Breteuil describes two cups, each held by three female bronze figures — now untraced. This design, clearly influenced by the Borghese Three Graces (now at the Louvre), probably relates to these lost objects.

  • Workshop of Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for the Arch of Trajan in Ancona, ca. 1778
    Pen, ink, and watercolor on paper
    17 1/4 × 11 1/8 in. (437 × 283 mm)
    Museo Napoleonico, Rome
    © Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali — Museo Napoleonico

    The design for this triumphal arch is based on the ancient Arch of Trajan in Ancona. Valadier created a reduction of the arch for the deser of the Bailli de Breteuil. Some of the decoration shown in the drawing — some rosettes and the equestrian statuette and trophies at its top in gilt bronze — is no longer present on the arch of the deser.

  • Workshop of Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for the Side, Horizontal, and Vertical Sections of the Arch of Trajan in Ancona, ca. 1778
    Pen, ink, and watercolor on paper
    17 1/2 x 11 1/4 in. (445 x 286 mm)
    Museo Napoleonico, Rome
    © Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali — Museo Napoleonico

    In addition to sketching a frontal view of the Arch of Trajan for the deser of the Bailli de Breteuil (both the sketch and the arch are on display in the exhibition), Valadier’s workshop also made a drawing that shows the arch from its side, as well as a plan and a section of it. Similar drawings probably existed for most of the architectural reductions of the deser.

  • Workshop of Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for the Temple of Minerva, ca. 1778
    Pen, ink, and watercolor on paper
    15 1/8 × 8 7/8 in. (385 × 225 mm)
    Museo Napoleonico, Rome
    © Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali — Museo Napoleonico

    Finished drawings such as this one were created in Valadier’s workshop either as modelli — presentation drawings to be shown to the patron — or as records of objects produced in the workshop. This drawing relates to the Temple of Minerva, decorated with columns in verde di Corsica marble and with a carved ivory relief in the pediment, which was made for the deser of the Bailli de Breteuil. Now missing in the temple are the three ivory statuettes at the top of the pediment in the drawing.

  • Workshop of Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for the Temple of Mercury, ca. 1778
    Pen, ink, and watercolor on paper
    15 1/8 × 8 7/8 in. (385 × 224 mm)
    Museo Napoleonico, Rome
    © Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali — Museo Napoleonico

    This drawing of the Temple of Mercury relates to one of the temples of the deser of the Bailli de Breteuil. The temple is made with colored marbles and semiprecious stones, such as amethyst and garnets. The garland at the center of the tympanum and the three small vases at its top are no longer present in the temple of the deser.

  • Workshop of Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for the Front of a Pronaos, ca. 1778
    15 1/8 × 8 7/8 in. (385 × 225 mm)
    Pen, ink, and watercolor on paper
    Museo Napoleonico, Rome
    © Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali — Museo Napoleonico

    This drawing depicts an extraordinary object (now lost) that was once part of the deser of the Bailli de Breteuil. The two columns must have been veneered with lapis lazuli, and the little pronaos, or vestibule, was decorated with a dragon-like creature on the attic and a Medusa head between the columns.

  • Workshop of Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for the Temple of Flora, ca. 1778
    Pen, ink, and watercolor on paper
    11 3/8 × 9 5/8 in. (290 × 244 mm)
    Museo Napoleonico, Rome
    © Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali — Museo Napoleonico

    This preparatory drawing is related to the Temple of Flora at the center of the deser of the Bailli de Breteuil. The temple was loosely based on the ruins of the Temple of the Sibyl in Tivoli. The small temple for the deser was created with lapis lazuli columns. The design shows a gilt-bronze statuette in the center, sphinxes at the top, and festoons between the columns, which are now missing in the Madrid temple. A working drawing created in Valadier’s workshop, this sketch would have subsequently been drawn in a more finished way to serve as a presentation model.

  • Workshop of Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
    Design for Five Elements of a Deser, ca. 1778
    Pen, ink, and watercolor on paper
    9 1/2 × 13 1/8 in. (242 × 333 mm)
    Museo Napoleonico, Rome
    © Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali — Museo Napoleonico

    This drawing conveys an idea of some of the architectural pieces that decorated the deser of the Bailli de Breteuil or possibly another similar table centerpiece. Valadier’s workshop, which produced a large number of such architectural reductions, was well known for its whimsical pieces.

  • Registro Generale: Inventory of all the works, tools, utensils, and other articles necessary for the profession of silversmith, gilder, and caster of every sort, various stones, hard and soft, cut and uncut, in the shop of Signor Giuseppe Valadier in the year MDCCCX
    Rome, 1810
    Manuscript, ink on paper
    11 3/4 x 8 1/8 in. (30 x 20.5 cm)
    The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives, New York
    Purchased with the support of Marina Kellen French, 2016
    Courtesy of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives

    This is the main documentary source for information on Valadier’s workshop. Compiled after Luigi’s death, when the workshop belonged to his son, Giuseppe, it describes the tools and the objects that father and son used in their workshop on Via del Babuino in Rome.