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Giuseppe Siccardi 1883- 1956
Pair of pendant sculptures made with bronze and representing two mythological figures, a nymph and a satyr. Both of them are signed on the base”. “G. Siccardi”
female figure belongs to the mythological genre:
it represents a nymph.
Nynphs (Νύμϕαι, Nymphae)
were minor deities related to the cult of Nature. Believed as female genes,
virgins or young women, they were symbol of the life force of nature.
They lived in Brooks, steams, trees, woods, caves;
they were known for their kindness towards mortals and they often intertwined
love stories with dieties, humans and wood’s inhabitants. Nymphs were
named with different names based on the natural element: water
(source, steams, lakes), Naiad ( Ναιάδες, Naiădes) Earth
(forests, mountains), Dryads or Amadryads (Δρυάδες, ‘Αμαδρυάδες Dryădes, Amadryădes).
Rarely they were figured alone, but often represented with
Pans, satyrs or even with Hermes.
The real size figure is still;
her head is lightly inclined, her face is stretched and proportionated;
her gaze is fixed forward, her nose is straight and her lips are half-closed. Her
hair are plane, not particulary sharped, with
central parting and hair collected behind the nape. Her right arm is bent toward
her chest with the hand open up,
while her left arm is laid along the side holding her dress. The lower limbs are
chiasmus arranged in relation with the upper limbs: the right leg is still while the left one
Chyasmus is a compositive technique that consists in arrange the human figure following a particular rhythm that reminds the letter X: it is a particular disposition where the parts cheat a cross so to the bent lower limb correspond the opposite side upper limb.
Feet are lightly staggered in a asymmetric position; the nymph wears sandals and a long dress; a thin strip of fabric wraps her brest emphasizing it; her shoulder are naked while her upper limbs are wrapped in a cloak has a fluid and soft drapery.
The sculpture follows an only essential direction, the nymph’s figure. Vertical lines prevail ; the surface is mono-chromed. The contrast between the vertical drapery of the dress and the inclined one of the stole, and the light and darks give to the statue a greater sense of three dimensionality and balance. The figure is well proportionated and composed: the modeled is essential, the dimensions are calibrated and balance.
Dimensions: 156x58x34 cm
The male figure also belongs to the mythological genre: the represented figure, even if clearly humanized, is a satyr.
The satyr, (σάτυρος, sátyros) mythical male figure partner of Pan and Dionysus, was a minor diety, personification of fertiòity and of the life force of nature. He was the demigod of woods, represented with human body and limbs, but ears ( and often horns), tail (and even hoofs) of a goat. They are considered the male correspondents of nymphs; they also lived in the solitude of woods and mountains, hunting, dancing and playing the bagpipe, flute or castanets. Along with nymphs and bacchantes they joined the procession of Dyonysus. In the ancient Roman religion the satyr was known as “faun”. Fauns, italic correspondents of Grecian pans and satyrs, are describe as half goat being with hoofs and horns.
The life size figure is still. His head is left bent and oriented downwards playing the bagpipe. His face is stretched and well proportionated: awake eyes, still and engaged gaze; his nose is lightly hooked, his lips are thin and close. His eyebrows are marked and his forehead is wrinkled emphasizing the effort due to the air insufflation. The act of piping is well definited by the swollen cheeks. An hint of beard on his chin reminds the goat traits typical of satyrs: the goat beard is extended, well definited, soft and ending in a W shape.
His head is wrapped by a thin ribbon that end with long and wide strips that go down along his back and shoulders ( a wider central and four thinner lateral, two for side). On his head two small goat horns are visible. His hair, carved with delicate shades, are lightly waved, soft on the forehead and with two curly and long lock at the ears.
The bagpipe- typical instrument with pastoral origins and characters- in made of a bag the keeps air (goatskin) that has an ovoid and extended shape: the effect of the air filling is well represented by the light and darks and by the precise realization.
The instrument has three pipes with different lengths inserted in a stump which is connected with the goatskin: as usual only one pipe has holes to make the melody, the other two – without holes and with fix intonation- are used just as accompaniment.
His arm are bent and his hands are supporting and playing the bagpipe. His fingers are tapered: on the left hand three are free while the ring finger and little finger are covering two holes for the pipe; on the right hand four fingers are supporting the instrument while just the index in free.
The composition is fluid. The lower limbs are one extended and the other bent: the left leg – lightly arched- is holding the body weight, the right leg-bent- leans on the base.
The modeled of the muscles follows the movements of the limbs: the left femoral quadriceps is tense and rigid while right one is relaxed. His muscles are tonic. The young satyr is naked; a long cloak, that looks like sheep skin, cover just part of his arms, breast and genitals. His body is finely realized with a vigorous and well defined musculature, in particular at the pelvis and shoulders. The sculpture follows an only essential direction, the figure of the satyr. Vertical lines prevail ; the surface is mono-chromed. The movement of the upper and lower limbs, along with the one of the fingers, with the expression of his face and the muscle yield give to the statue a sense of balance reality. His pose is natural.
The figure is well proportionated and composed: the modeled is refined the dimensions are calibrated and harmonized.
Dimensions: 152x56x52 cm
Inspect the statues
Historical stylistic analysis
Giuseppe Siccardi (Albino 18th July 1883-Bergamo, 18th January 1956), son of a marble worker, was pupil of Ponziano loverini at the Carrara Academy in Bergamo.
In 1906 won a scholarship the gave him the opportunity to attend classes at the school of nude of Ettore Ferrari in Rome where he studied the works of artist from the past.
In 1921 he exposes at the International Show of Sacral Art of Milan and in 1922 he made the grave stone in memory of Cesare Tallone. In 1936 were at the Triennale of Milan and then exposing in several other cities.
Between his sculptures are important severals war memorials and works representing local artists: significant examples are the bust of Gabriele Camozzi – patriot from Bergamo- made in Dalmine and the statue of Giovan Battista Moroni, painter from the Bergamo area active in 16th century, commissioned to Siccarti by the municipality of Albino.
Important are also two statues carved from the facade of the Palace of Justice in Bergamo representing Right and Law.
Sacred works appear in many churches in the area: in Dalmine, outside the parish church of S. Giuseppe, in the four corners of the churchyard there are four statues in gentle strain of Brembate depicting S. Antonio da Padova, S. Rita da Cascia, S. Judas Thaddeus, St. Thomas Aquinas.
On the facade of the Basilica of the Samtissimo Crocifisso in Como there are two bronze statues of S.Paolo and S. Pietro.
At the parish of Saint Salvatore in bergamo, Siccardi realizes the high-relief of the four doctors of the Church: S.Bernardo, S.Alfonso, S.Anselmo and S.Cirillo.
Compering the two art works in question with the statue of Lex at the Palace of Justice in Bergamo, we notice how the style of the sculptures is soft even if the modeled is fast and quick, as typical at that time, the elegance and kindness give us a sense of Liberty, just a remind in a type of sculpture that getting more rigid and militarized. We can immediately compare the drapery of Lex with the on of the Nymph. The Palace of justice was open in 1925 then we can suppose that the two sculptures in question are just a little precedents.
Alfonzo Panzetta, Nuovo Dizionario degli scultori italiani dell’Ottocento e del primo Novecento, 2 vv., Adarte, Torino 2003