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Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi
 
 

Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi or Massimiliano Soldani (15 July 1656 – 23 February 1740) was an Italian sculptor and medallist, mainly active in Florence.

Born at Montevarchi, the son of an aristocratic Tuscan cavalry captain, Soldani was employed by the Medici for his entire career. He was the finest bronze caster in Europe in the late 17th century. He began training in the Medici school in Florence, and attracted the attention of the Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici who sent Soldani-Benzi to Rome to complete his training in sculpture and coin-making. During his four years in Rome, Cosimo forbad him to work for others, although Queen Christina of Sweden wanted to commission work from him. After his return from Rome, Cosimo sent the artist to work with a famous medallist in Paris. Again in deference to Cosimo, Soldani-Benzi refused overtures from Louis XIV and, cutting short his visit, returned to Florence, where he was made director of the Grand-ducal Mint (Maestro dei Coni), and had a workshop in the Uffizi. The Medicis had been equally possessive of his predecessor Giambologna.

Though trained as a medallist, Soldani-Benzi also produced bronze reliefs, and free-standing figures and busts, often after the antique, and apparently, even bronze vases. Klaus Lankheit recognized in a small bronze Pietà attributed to Soldani at the Walters Art Museum a "balanced triangular composition" that is "almost a relief in form" and suggested that it had been composed first as a relief; A more elaborate version, with additional figures, in the Kress collection at the Seattle Art Museum, was identified as by Soldani by Ultich Middeldorf. A second table bronze, Venus and the Wounded Adonis, on a richly-mounted ebony base raised on bronze paw feet, is also at the Walters Art Museum. For Johann Josef Johann Adam, Prince of Liechtenstein, he produced a series of bronze copies of works of the Medici collection.

At rare intervals he exhibited terra cotta bozzetti at the irregularly staged exhibitions of the Accademia del Disegno, Florence: in 1715 a Pietà in terracotta by "Sig. M.S." A major document for his career is his autobiography, dated 1718, correspondence, and the inventory taken after his death.

After his death his heirs sold some of his wax models to marchese Carlo Ginori, who had them adapted by his chief modeller, Gaspero Bruschi, and reproduced in porcelain at his Doccia porcelain manufactory near Florence. Thus Soldani's Apollo in His Chariot, Venus Plucking the Wings of Cupid and Virtue Overpowering Vice all exist as Doccia porcelain groups.

A highly-finished terracotta relief, Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, doubtless intended as a modello to be cast in bronze as a private devotional work, is conserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 


Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Venus and Adonis
Italian, about 1700





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Andromeda and the Sea-Monster
1710-1716






Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Andromeda and the Sea-Monster
1710-1716




Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Leda and the Swan
1710-1716






Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Leda and the swan






Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. The Sacrifice of Jephthah's Daughter, 1722







Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Wrestlers after the antique Soldani, Massimiliano Heim Gallery, London, England






Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Diana and Callisto
1695-1700
Bronze with dark-brown lacquer patina, height 41 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna






Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. The Judgment of Paris
1695-1700
Bronze, dark-brown painted patina, height 38 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Mercury Soldani
Massimiliano Heim Gallery, London, England





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Faun Playing Pipes Soldani, Massimiliano Heim Gallery, London, England







Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Triumph of Virtue over Vice
1701-06
Bronze, dark brown lacquer patina, height 31 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bacchus and Ariadne Soldani
Massimiliano Heim Gallery, London, England








Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bacchus
1699-1701
Bronze, red-brown lacquer patina, height 198 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Dancing Satyr






Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Faun with Clappers Soldani, Massimiliano Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England








Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Medici Venus
1699-1702
Bronze with red-brown lacquer patina, height 158 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna




Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Medici Venus Soldani, Massimiliano Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England




Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Medici Venus Attributed to Soldani, Massimiliano Heim Gallery, London, England






Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Medici Venus Attributed to Soldani, Massimiliano Heim Gallery, London, England





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Venus Chastising Cupid Soldani
Massimiliano Heim Gallery, London, England

 
 
 
 



Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bust of the Anima Beata
1705-07
Bronze with golden-red patina, height 39 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bust of the Anima Dannata
1705-07
Bronze with golden-red patina, height 40 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bust of Agrippa
Bronze, red-gold lacquer patina, height 63 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bust of Hadrian
Bronze, red-gold lacquer patina, height 68 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna




Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bust of Vitellius
Bronze, red-gold lacquer patina, height 59 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bust of Augustus
Bronze, red-gold lacquer patina, height 62 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna




Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bust of Cicero
Bronze, red-gold lacquer patina, height 60 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna






Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bust of Seneca
Bronze, red-gold lacquer patina, height 60 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna






Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bust of Faustina the Younger
1695
Bronze, red-gold lacquer patina, height 58 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Bust of Marcus Aurelius as a Boy
1707-12
Bronze, red-gold lacquer patina, height 36 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Time Reveals the Truth
1695-97
Bronze, red-gold lacquer patina, 64 x 45 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Time Reveals the Truth (detail)







Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Peace Embraces Justice
1694
Bronze, yellow-brown lacquer patina, 62 x 45 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna






Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Christ on the Mount of Olives
c. 1722
Bronze, golden-brown lacquer patina, 65 x 45 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Deposition. 1710, Terracotta







Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Vase
1689-93
Black marble, gilded silver and bronze, height 80 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence






Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Reliquary of St Alexius
c. 1691
Hard stones, gold, silver, gilded copper, ebony, height 54 cm
Museo delle Cappelle Medicee, Florence




Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Knife Grinder Soldani, Massimiliano Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England





Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. Child Bacchante Clipping Cupid's Wings
1695
Bronze, brown-black lacquer patina, 31 x 35 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna

 
 
 
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