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The Shepherd Daphnis Playing a Pipe
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The Shepherd Daphnis Playing a Pipe


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The naturalism and lyricism of this bronze statuette make it a masterpiece of the Renaissance. Riccio (also known as Andrea Briosco), one of the greatest artists in this genre, was a member of the humanist circles of the university city of Padua. He excelled in creating small bronzes that captured the spirit of antiquity without resorting to copying. This is a shepherd from the mythic world of Arcadia, where satyrs, nymphs, gods, and humans lived together at ease. With the unfocused gaze of one lost in creative thought, he is Daphnis, who was taught to play the hollow reed pipe by the god Pan and became the inventor of pastoral poetry (poetry associated with shepherds) - a classical literary form revived in Padua during the Renaissance. There is a representation of Daphnis and Chloe together (42.97) by Henri Louis François, 1841-1896. The nickname "Riccio" means "hedgehog" and refers to the sculptor's extremely curly, indeed bristly hair, confirmed in his Self Portrait (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna). It is very possible that he was in part of African ancestry.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
7/07/1976Examinationexamined for condition
Exhibitions
  • Antiquity in the Renaissance. Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton. 1978.
  • The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800-1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
  • The Allure of Bronze. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
  • Von allen seiten schön, Bronzen der Renaissance und des Barock. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin. 1995-1996.
  • Masterpieces in Bronze: Riccio, Sculptor of the Paduan Renaissance. The Frick Collection, New York. 2008-2009.
  • Touch and the Enjoyment of Sculpture: Exploring the Appeal of Renaissance Statuettes. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2012.
  • The Pageant of Venice: Art and Music in the Golden Age of the Serenissima. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montréal; Portland Art Museum, Portland. 2013-2014.
Provenance Jacques Seligmann, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Period
1520-1530 (Renaissance)
Medium
bronze
(Metal)
Accession Number
54.234
Measurements
H: 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm)
Geographies

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