The Dancing Faun and the Medici Venus, are wonderfully patinated bronze casts after Classical models. Johann Adam Andreas I had seen the ancient originals, which were in the Tribuna of the Uffizi in Florence, with his own eyes and was determined to have them for his own gallery – even if only in the form of copies. In his new City Palace in Bankgasse he displayed these copies together in the same room. In his surviving correspondence with Soldani Benzi, the latter congratulates him on his wisdom in deciding to have copies made in bronze, those made in stone never proving able to reproduce the delicate contours of a bronze original, and marble presenting the problem of not being so easily transportable. The fact that a stone copy of the Dancing Faun was made may be attributed to the particular wishes of Johann Adam Andreas I, who wanted to be able to admire this figure not only in Vienna but also at Rossau. Accordingly, he commissioned the sculptor Giovanni Giuliani (1663 –1744) in Vienna to make a further copy of the original (the copy was in fact made using the intermediary of a bozzetto preserved in the collection of the Heiligenkreuz monastery).
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Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi
Dancing Faun, 1695/1697
Bronze with reddish brown patina
height 139 cm
Inv.-No. SK541
Provenance: commissioned in 1695, along with the Medici Venus (SK 537), by Prince Johann Adam Andreas I von Liechtenstein; both works acquired in 1702
Further works on display
Medici Venus, c. 1699/1702
Bust of Anima Dannata, 1705/1707
Diana and Callisto, c. 1695/1700
The Judgement of Paris, 1695/1700
Bust of Cicero, 1695
Bust of Agrippa, 1695
Bust of Faustina the Elder, 1695
Bust of Vitellius, 1695
Bust of Augustus, 1695
Bust of Faustina the Younger, 1695
Bust of Hadrian, 1695
Bust of Seneca, 1695
Bacchanalia, 1695/1697
Child Bacchante, Clipping Cupid’s Wings, 1695
Time reveals the Truth, 1695/1697
Peace embraces Justice, 1694
The Triumph of Virtue over Vice, c. 1701/1706
Christ on the Mount of Olives, c. 1722
Bust of Marcus Aurelius as a Boy, 1707/1712
Bacchus, 1699/1701
Bust of the Anima Beata, 1705/1707
Deposition, 1710/25
Venus plucking the wings of Cupid, c. 1718/1719
Related themes
Bronzes from the Collections of the Prince von und zu Liechtenstein
The rise of interest in antiquity
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