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Royal cabinetmakers: Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo

federico chiale, 06-07-2020

Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo was born in Asti, September 6, 1745. His was a family of cabinet makers, with his father Giorgio sculptor and stippetaio. Bonzanigo learned the first notions of sculpture in his father's workshop, however, as a perfect self-taught, he developed his technique drawing inspiration from Renaissance and classic works. His incredible sculptural technique was immediately noticed by the artistic environment of Turin, at that time very active. Thanks to his skill he immediately became a Savoy sculptor, with the creation of busts, wooden profiles, microsculptures. It became part of the "Pia Società e Sodalizio di San Luca", which included the greatest Piedmontese artists of the time. From this period onwards he began his peak of the artistic career: he made furnishings, micro-cuts, sculptures, profiles for the whole royal house and beyond. Thanks to the connections between the Savoy family and the royal family of France, he carried out many works for the French royal court. Famous is the golden wooden fender created by him for Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, which is proudly on sale among our decorative art works (https://www.chialefineart.com/en/dettaglio-mobili.php?id=45). The beauty and delicacy of his works elect him as one of the greatest Italian artists of the eighteenth century, and still today his works have international caliber and value. Especially the wooden microsculptures. These include the two wooden micro-sculptures of the portraits of Louis XVIII and his wife, exhibited and sold at Paris Fine Art in November. The two objects had an incredible appeal and were mentioned in the Giornale dell'Arte as one of the highlights of the fair. (Https://www.ilgiornaledellarte.com/articoli/la-terza-di-fine-arts-paris/132151.html) In this regard, we mention another splendid wooden micro-sculpture that portrays Louis XVIII (https://www.chialefineart.com/en/dettaglio-sculture.php?id=144). The microsculpture was part of the famous work The Military Trophy, now on display at the Venaria Reale in Turin. His creations, however, over the years, lost the interest of the Savoy house and of all the Turin nobility. He died on December 3, 1820 in total poverty. The obituary of his death remembered him as "founder of a renowned workshop".

bonzanigo, royal cabinetmakers, microsculpture

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