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Female bust Francesco Cabianca (attributed to) French Sculptor (previous attribution)


Francesco Cabianca (attributed to) Venice, 1665 – Venice, 1737

French Sculptor (previous attribution) late 18th century

Culture Italian
Date early 18th century
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique marble

statue: 49 × 30 × 26 cm, 44 kg
base: 14.5 × 17 × 14.5 cm

Inventory number 2020.2
Collection Sculpture
On view Museum of Fine Arts, Second Floor, European Art 1700-1850, Gallery XXX

The sculptor Francesco Penso, called “Cabianca”, was born in Venice and spent his apprenticeship in the Venetian workshop of Michele Fabris, followed by that of Giusto le Court. His first known autonomous works executed in Venice date from the first half of the 1690s. Then, in 1698, he went to Dalmatia, where he first worked in Ragusa and after that in Kotor. Upon his return to Venice in 1708 he executed his most well-known works in the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari: the marble reliefs of the sacristy’s Altar of Relics (1711).

This bust of a woman carved in marble shows kinship with works Cabianca executed in the first two decades of the 18th century. The drapery of the headscarf embellished with a distinct decoration evokes the style of the drapery in the artist’s relief of the Deposition, also in the Frari, while the manner of the hair and the aristocratic face of classical beauty recur in the sculptures – busts depicting Roman emperors and empresses as well as allegorical figures (1716−1717) – that he made for the park of the Summer Palace of Peter the Great in Saint Petersburg.

The marble female bust is a new acquisition of the museum. The attribution of the sculpture to Francesco Cabianca is by Maichol Clemente.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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