Moretti Fine Art Presents Masterpieces of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Sculpture

In their third collaborative exhibition, Andrew Butterfield of Andrew Butterfield Fine Arts and Fabrizio Moretti of Moretti Fine Art, will stage Masterpieces of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Sculpture on Thursday, October 20 through Friday, November 11, 2011 at Moretti Fine Art, 24 East 80th Street in New York.

The exhibition centers around several significant discoveries of the past year, including A Pair of Monumental Terracotta Portrait Busts of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (circa 1660), by Domenico Giudi — perhaps the largest terracotta portrait busts currently in America.

“Large scale terracotta busts are extremely rare, especially at this level of quality and liveliness. I cannot think of another such pair in America, other than the two Medici busts at the National Gallery in Washington,” said Andrew Butterfield.

These newly rediscovered, lively and spirited works are impressive both for their scale, as well as for their characterization of the two saints, combining subtlety of psychological insight with emphasis on their emotional transport and spiritual elevation. The artist of the works Domenico Guidi was one of the leading sculptors in Europe in the second half of the 17th century. Works by him are on view in the Vatican, Versailles, and the Villa Medici, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hermitage and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

Madonna and Child by Andrea della Robbia (circa 1490)
Another major work in the show is a newly identified Madonna and Child relief by Andrea della Robbia. This charming and touching work is a perfect instance of the artist’s distinctive style, distinguished by the harmony of form and the purity of the radiant white and celestial blue. Andrea della Robbia’s sculptures embody the Florentine Renaissance and its dual emphasis on ideality and naturalism.

A Large-scale Statue of an Apostle by Alonso Berruguete (1488-1561)
Widely known as the Spanish Michelangelo, Berruguete is the most important sculptor of the Spanish Renaissance. Likely made around 1525 as part of an altarpiece, this is a highly exceptional and expressive work, which stands 40 ½ inches tall. There is only one other work by the artist that stands in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

A Terra-cotta Statue by Francesco da Sangallo (1494-1576)
Also from about 1525, this powerful work represents Moses, and was inspired by Michelangelo’s marble of the same subject.

Fabrizio Moretti and Andrew Butterfield met six years ago at The European Fine Art Fair, in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and realized the common interest in discovering new works, underlining the animated nature of Italian sculpture. “After the success of our previous exhibitions, we are delighted to work together on our third installation, displaying pieces of high quality. Working with a prominent scholar such as Andrew Butterfield means that these pieces are studied and appreciated for their rarity and historical significance,” explains Fabrizio Moretti. He further explains that each piece is accessible to a wide audience, fascinating the general public alongside the field’s experts.

“As ever, it is a pleasure to collaborate with Fabrizio Moretti,” says Andrew Butterfield. “We share a concentration on trying to discover and bring to the public only the very best, and today, often the very best means sculpture.”

As a dealer, Butterfield has found and sold dozens of major works of art, including important discoveries of paintings and sculptures by Bernini, Donatello, Ghiberti, Giambologna, Mantegna, Riccio, and Verrocchio. His clients have included many of the top private collectors and museums in the world, such as the Musée du Louvre, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Kimbell Art Museum.

As a scholar, Butterfield has published more than one hundred articles and books, on subjects ranging from Fra Angelico to Picasso. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and The New Republic and his research has won many prestigious awards, among them The Bernard Berenson Prize, and The Mitchell Prize for Best Book in the Visual Arts.

Butterfield was a student of Sir John Pope-Hennessy at the Institute of Fine Arts, where he received a Ph.D. in 1992. He held senior research positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Harvard University and has worked in the art market since 1996. He has taught at the Institute of Fine Arts, and curated or collaborated on many gallery and museum exhibitions. He established Andrew Butterfield Fine Arts, LLC in 2005.

Located in the heart of Florence, between the Strozzi Palace and Santa Maria Novella, Moretti Srl was founded in 1999 by Fabrizio Moretti who, at the young age of 24, rapidly catapulted his gallery to the forefront of gold ground paintings, primarily from Tuscany. Building upon the foundation established by his father, 33-year old Fabrizio continues to expand the gallery’s tradition of presenting important Italian works of art. In 2005, he opened the London-based Moretti Fine Art Ltd., introducing this period to the vast international stage at the heart of London’s art market, New Bond Street. The New York gallery, opened in collaboration with Adam Williams Fine Art, opened in 2007. Among the paintings sold to museums are Maestro del Bigallo, Madonna and Child, (XIII century) sold to the Galleria degli Uffizi, Fra Angelico, Two Domenican Saints, sold to the Italian State and the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze to be returned to their original home at the Church of San Marco, and Cima da Conegliano, Madonna and Child, sold to the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, in collaboration with Adam Williams.

Moretti Fine Art exhibits at the most prestigious international art fairs including the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, the Biennale dell’Antiquariato di Firenze, and The European Fine Art Fair, for which Mr. Moretti also serves on the executive committee. He also appears on Italian television as an expert on topics relating to the international art market, and has written several articles on the subject.

Image: Terra-cotta Statue by Francesco da Sangallo (1494-1576).

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