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Applique Console Francesco Bolgiè, Turin 1790 ca.

Francesco Bolgiè (1752-1834)
Turin 1790 ca.

Description:

Wall table supported by two legs moved to “S”, connected to the band under the top by carved shelves; grey marble top molded on the edge.

The band is carved with pods and finished with a ribbon frame. The uprights end with two curly feet, which are carved on the four faces with overlapping circles and plant motifs; above the feet, a small shelf connects the two uprights. It is carved by a Greek fret with rosettes, surmounted by a classic vase with flowers and finished in the lower part by a leafy head. The whole surface is gouache-gilded.

Dimensions: Cm. 98 x 140 x 57.5

CODE: ANTACO0117719

Historical-stylistic analysis:

The piece of furniture presented here is to be referred to the Turin production and in particular to the work of Francesco Bolgiè, since the points of contact with his work are stringent. Born in Turin in 1752 to a family of carvers, after a Parisian training, he was a member of the Compagnia di San Luca in 1775 and appointed Royal Sculptor by Vittorio Amedeo, the first of all carvers to obtain this title.

After Bonzanigo, Bolgè is the most desired artist at the Savoy court and, although his fame was overshadowed by the greatness of the first, he was a carver of great ability, it is not true that the authorship of the two productions have often been confused. The inventories show that if Bonzanigo was much more used for the production of chairs, screens and frames that required more minute carving, it was mainly Bolgè who was entrusted with the production of furniture and consoles.

Entering into the console analyzed here, the first stringent comparison is to be made with the four corner cabinets created for Madama Felicita’s apartment in the Royal Palace. The “S” -shaped legs have the same curl as the foot placed here under the top and the frontal notch of the uprights is identical. The closeness between the carved vase of the console and those placed on the top and between the legs of the corner cabinets cannot be overlooked, even if ours, being placed in a prominent position, is richer and more elaborate. It is possible to find the same curl pattern as a shelf used on some commodes including that of the Duchess of Aosta’s bedroom, also in the Royal Palace.

The carved head placed under the connecting shelf is found in several coffers including the two of the Stupinigi hunting lodge, located in the King’s antechamber; the same ornamental element is present in the extraordinary blue and white lacquer cabinet also preserved in the Palazzina di Stupinigi.
Some of these motifs are clearly also used by other Turin carvers, including Bonzanigo, but the closeness of composition and design with the two pairs of corner cabinets leaves room for little doubt as to the authorship of this furniture.

Bibliography:

• Roberto Antonetto, Il mobile piemontese nel settecento, ed. Umberto Allemandi 2010
• Vittorio Viale, Mostra del Barocco piemontese, vol. III Mobili e intagli, ed. arti grafiche fratelli Pozzo-Salviati-Gros Monti e C. 1964
• Enrico Colle, Il mobile neoclassico in Italia, ed. Electa 2005

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