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"Antique" Candlestick in the Form of a Man

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This nude, bearded man holds a base for a candle socket in each of his outstretched hands, as in the etched illustration dated 1700 of a nearly identical "antique" Roman bronze figure in a collection of antiquities in Amsterdam. To the modern eye, the characterization of face and beard, proportions, and stance do not suggest ancient Greece or Rome but Germany around 1525, especially Nuremberg. The candlestick may be by the sculptor Peter Vischer the Younger, who, like his contemporary Albrecht Dürer, was involved in humanist circles there. While the nudity of the figure reflects the new, humanist respect for the beauty of the human body that looks back to the bronze statuettes of antiquity, the function of the figure is comparable to similar German candlesticks based on the figure of a soldier with outstretched arms. There was clearly no intention to deceive the initial purchaser, and it was only in the following century that such a figure could be mistaken for an antique. The base-made in the style favored in Padua in the mid 1500s-is also by Vischer, who had studied there.
Date Description Narrative
Loan Considerationexamined for loan
7/26/1982Loan Considerationexamined for loan
7/01/1983Treatmentcleaned; examined for loan
7/02/1986Examinationexamined for condition
8/18/1993Examinationexamined for condition
8/18/1993Loan Considerationexamined for loan
1/01/2006Examinationexamined for condition
3/30/2006Treatmentexamined for condition; other
6/30/2006Technical Reportx-ray fluorescence
9/23/2008Technical Reportx-ray fluorescence
  • Nuremberg, A Renaissance City. Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas at Austin, Austin. 1983-1984.
  • Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes in the Frick Art Museum. The Frick Art Museum, Pittsburg. 1993-1994.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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ca. 1525 (Renaissance)
fire-gilded bronze, bronze
Accession Number
13 9/16 in. (34.5 cm)


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