Description This cover and its pair Walters 54.47, each with three nude young women--possibly the Three Graces--leaning against an urn, were for incense burners. The perfumed smoke was released through holes piercing the antique-style grotesque masks. Many small bronzes had a utilitarian purpose; incense burners were a typical product of bronze casters from Padua. However, while the figures' proportions, modeling, and black patina are characteristic of Italian workmanship, the elegant conception has much in common with works for the French court. Perhaps the sculptor was an Italian working in France.
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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