Prev / Next

Works from Bruno Mantura collection

Tuesday 23 March 2021, 03:00 PM • Rome


Rinaldo Rinaldi

(Padova 1793 - Roma 1873)

Giovanna D'Arco


€ 2.000 - 3.000


€ 4.092

The price includes buyer's premium


marble sculpture
height 76.5 cm


Rome, Carlo Virgilio Gallery, 2002.


O. Raggi, Giovanna d’Arco di Rinaldo Rinaldi. Statua, in “L’Ape Italiana delle Belle Arti”, III, 1837, 3, pp. 57-59, tav. XXI; 
Hawks Le Grice, Walks through the Studii of the Sculptors at Rome, Rome 1841, p. 98 n. 15; 
N. Pietrucci, Biografia degli artisti padovani, Padua 1858, p. 231; 
M.S. Lilli, Rinaldo Rinaldi, in “Antologia di belle arti”, IV, 1980, 13-14, pp. 94-101, p. 96 fig. 3; 
Episodi di scultura in Italia dal Neoclassico al “Ritorno all’ordine”, catalog of the exhibition curated by S. Grandesso, Rome, Galleria Carlo Virgilio May 28 - 28 July 2002, pp. 22-23.

Student of the Academy of Fine arts of Venice, Rinaldo Rinaldi completed his studies in Rome at the Accademia di San Luca under the protection of Antonio Canova. He entered the studio of Adamo Tadolini and established himself in the Roman neoclassic environment, installing his studio in 1826 in the premises of via delle Colonnette where the deceased Canova had worked, of which he created, together with other sculptors, the funeral monument for the church of the Frari in Venice. Alongside the monumental production, Rinaldi also executed portrait busts and treated mythological and historical subjects. The statuette, of which at least three versions are known, Joan of Arc belongs to that transition phase in which the neoclassical style welcomes romantic ferments. One of the most significant heroines of the romantic Pantheon, the "maid of Orleans" under Napoleon had become a symbol of French patriotism and national identity and then rose in the 1830s to a symbol of France itself claimed by republicans and monarchists, lay people and ecclesiastics. Venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church, the young woman had distinguished herself during the defense of Orleans, besieged by the British, who wanted to oust Charles, Dauphin and legitimate heir to the throne of France, and had imposed a sober and monastic style on the French army. The tragedy published by Schiller in 1801 had given impetus to a rich artistic production, which had found its crown in the chapter of the monumental History of France dedicated to him in 1841 by the historian Jules Michelet. Oreste Raggi illustrates the work in question in an article, accompanied by an engraved table by Francesco Garzoli based on a design by Paolo Guglielmi, which appeared in 1837 in the periodical "The Italian Bee of Fine Arts". According to Count Hawsk Le Grice's guide of 1841 sculpture studies in Rome, a Joan of Arc was commissioned by the Duchess of Sutherland, while another version is remembered in 1858 by Napoleone Pietrucci as property of Cavalier Nicolò Vigodarzere. He underlines from Raggi that Rinaldi transfigures the romantic heroine through her neoclassical cultural baggage, making her assume the pose of the Sauroctonian Apollo "under the guise of a beautiful young woman, dressed in steel armor, carrying the cross on her chest, with a helmet on the head, and the visor raised, which was as if in the act of resting upright. Supporting himself with his banner missing, he folds a little on this side and rests his right on the other side " [1] . However, the question of medieval-style clothing appeared to be more problematic in the eyes of the critic, which places the work in the sphere of troubadour production: "It is a question among the architects whether this can conveniently be used by alerting some that tight-fitting robes are ill suited to statuary, to which nudity or grandiose drapery is better suited; and others arguing, not without some reason, that modern men in modern clothes should dress; that if they do not appear showy it is the fault of our petty customs, not so much of the sculptor " [2] . This was, in fact, a very heated debate in the 1830s, which had its roots in the dialogue between Canova and Napoleon, in which the artist had cited the nude and ancient drapery as tools of the language of sculpture.


Teresa Sacchi Lodispoto

[1] O. Raggi, Joan of Arc by Rinaldo Rinaldi. Statue , in "The Italian Bee of Fine Arts", III, 1837, 3, p. 59.

[2] Ibidem.