Origin: Probably English Period: Late 19thC Provenance: Unknown Date: c.1900 Width: 11.25” Depth: 11.25” Height: 24”
The grey painted plaster model of a cherub or putti, shown in full length and draped in swathes of fabric, resting against a tree stump and standing on a plinth base survives from the zeniths of the nineteenth century.
Showing weathering commensurate with age, having been placed outside, the figure is in good structural order with some chipped losses as photographed and with the paint worn giving it a decorative feel.
Putti, cupids, and angels can be found in both religious and secular art from the 1420s in Italy, the turn of the 16th century in the Netherlands and Germany, the Mannerist period and late Renaissance in France, and throughout Baroque ceiling frescoes. So many artists have depicted them that a list would be pointless, but among the best-known are the sculptor Donatello and the painter Raphael. The two relaxed and curious putti who appear at the foot of Raphael's Sistine Madonna are often reproduced. They also experienced a major revival in the 19th century, where they gamboled through paintings by French academic painters, from Gustave Doré’s illustrations for Orlando Furioso to advertisements. In popular culture, putto is also used as a decorative art found on buildings, gardens, and greeting cards as a purveyor of love. It is possible that this particular figure was one of four depicting the four seasons.