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Salvatore Albano

Nymph Resting


Salvatore Albano
Oppido Mamertina, Italy, 1841 – Florence 1893


Nymph Resting






128 x 66 x 78 cm


Gift of the Club Saint-Denis of Montreal (gift of Edgar Genest), inv. 2015.443


Western Art

Albano began his career as a carver of presepi (Nativity scenes) and other wooden figures, but in the course of time he developed into a renowned marble sculptor, earning significant acclaim both in Italy and abroad. Nymph Resting is a testament to Albano’s ability to blend elements of Neoclassicism and Naturalism into a single sculptural work. Although the subject of the nymph looks back to classical antiquity, Albano’s attention to the individualized features of the model—the soft curve of her hand and the gentle bend of her lips, the dimples in her lower back and the wave of her hair, bound in an intricate chignon—roots the sculpture firmly within the Naturalist tradition that developed in Italy in the late nineteenth century. The nymph rests on an elaborately decorated chair with brocade fringe and a detailed grotesque back that underscores the renewed interest in early Renaissance design typical of the period. In its inclusion of contemporary furniture, its attention to the features of the model, and the complex design elements of the chair, Nymph Resting is representative of Italian sculpture of the second half of the Ottocento, distinguished by its break from the canons of Neoclassicism.

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