In 1695, Prince Johann Adam Andreas I was approached by Massimiliano Soldani Benzi with an offer to copy in bronze Bacchus by Michelangelo (1475–1564). The Grand Duke Francesco de’ Medici had acquired the sculpture in 1570, and exhibited it along with the famous antiquities in his collection in the new Uffizi gallery in Florence. This was a clear statement of the particular esteem in which this figure, now famous, was held. Possibly it was not a good idea to retain the scale, as Michelangelo’s modelling, entirely appropriate to the fifteenth-century tradition, did not satisfy the patron in Soldani Benzi’s faithfully executed bronze version. The prince, who appreciated the aesthetic of Antique sculpture, made no secret of his disappointment, and called the figure “a badly designed work … in an ugly pose, very bad idea, also dry”.
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Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi
Bacchus, 1699/1701
Bronze with red-brown lacquer patina
height 198 cm
Inv.-No. SK573
Provenance: 1695 commissioned by Prince Johann Adam Andreas I von Liechtenstein from Soldani Benzi; 1703 acquired by the same prince
Further works on display
Dancing Faun, 1695/1697
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
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
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