Bronze Jockey by Pandiani
This small bronze statue depicts a jockey with a saddle slung over his shoulder. His facial expression suggests that he is focused on the race that lies ahead of him. The figure’s weight is shifted toward the left side of his body; he intently looks in the other direction. His right hand is placed against his waist, conveying his confidence. The jockey sports a helmet, or a skullcap, a mandatory accessory worn by all jockeys during horse races. He also holds a crop in his left hand, which is noticeable when viewing the round-based statue from a side angle. A crop is a type of whip used by jockeys during races to make the horses move faster. Crops differ from whips in that they are shorter and do not have a lash – they simply consist of a shaft with a thick handle and a piece of leather on the end where it contacts the horse. This refined bronze was produced by Antonio Pandiani (1838–1928), a renowned Milanese sculptor. Antonio studied at the Accademia di Brera and became a successful sculptor in the academic style. He designed innovative subjects in a lively neoclassical manner. He was best known for his numerous sculpted portraits, such as that of Queen Victoria dating from 1890, but he also created a variety of bronze statuettes representing types. Along with his brothers Giovanni (1809–1879) and Costantino (1837–1922), Antonio formed the Milanese Pandiani dynasty, producing sculpted works of unsurpassed quality. Add this historical Italian bronze to your collection today!
At this time in history, the Italian composer Giuseppi Verdi (1813–1901) wrote the comic opera Falstaff in 1893. Falstaff was the last opera Verdi composed over the course of his prolific career. The work premiered on February 9, 1893 at the famous La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy. The performance was highly successful and leading members of the art world were present to witness the premier showcasing the comical story of the knight, Sir John Falstaff, trying to seduce a pair of married women to gain access to their husbands’ wealth. Falstaff would go on to be performed in various Italian cities and other major European centres, including Berlin, Vienna, and Paris.