Artwork Library

Statues in Florence

Statues in Florence

Location: Florence, Italy

Subject: Cityscape

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1920s

Signature: Knighton Hammond

Dimensions: 47 cm x 32 cm

Knighton-Hammond set himself up inside the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence to paint Pereus with the Head of Medusa (1545-1554) by Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571). This impressive statue in bronze is silhouetted against the façade of the Palazzo della Signoria. The work was commissioned by Cosimo I de’Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Out in the Piazza della Signoria is the iconic marble sculpture of David (1501-1504) by Michelangelo (1475-1564). The artist has not concentrated on detail but gives us an impression of the statues. The scale of these works can be gauged by the size of the figures mingling in the palazzo. (Michelangelo’s David stands 5.17m tall – this is a copy with the original in the Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence). By not giving us any detail in the façade of the palazzo the spectator can focus of the statues painted with a stylistic freedom of touch with effortless ease, gracefulness and fluidity yet with a powerful sense of authority. Seemingly unfinished, the work gives an insight into the creative process – a window into the mind of the artist. One can sense the attendant figures are focussed on interaction with these iconic renaissance masterpieces. This watercolour was purchased by the present owner direct from the artist’s studio in 1968.

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