Roman warrior on horseback
Bronze with its original brown patina.
Attributed to Francesco Fanelli (Florence 1590- 1653).
Active in England from 1610 to 1642, he had the favors of Charles I and received the title of sculptor of the king of England. He later returned to Italy.
Period: late 17th century
Dimensions : H : 42 cm – L : 33 cm – P : 16 cm
Stylistically there are resemblances with the series of Saint George and the Dragon. Our warrior is depicted in the same way. The horse is after the Antique equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in the Campidoglio in Rome where it was moved in 1538.
Born in Florence in 1577, Fanelli moved to Genoa by 1605 and worked there until at least 1630. In 1634 he received a court pension from King Charles I in London, where he had probably been working since 1632. His sons Virgilio, Pietro, and Giovanni Battista were born in Genoa prior to his departure, and they all became important sculptors who would eventually set up and run workshops as far afield as England, Italy and Spain, often continuing to cast bronzes from the models created by their father. Fanelli was highly regarded by the principal art patrons of Genoa and was almost certainly acquainted with Anthony Van Dyck before that painter relocated to London. Indeed it is believed that Van Dyck or his contacts may have been instrumental in bringing Fanelli to the attention of King Charles I. Fanelli stayed in England until at least 1641 where he was highly celebrated, only reappearing in Genoa in 1657. After that date, there are only short but laudatory records of him, including one in which he is described as ‘the illustrious’.