Giulio Tadolini ( Rome 1849 – 1918 ) ( attr. to ), Bust of veiled woman
Bronze cm 61 x 37 x 22.
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Art son and nephew, Giulio Tadolini enrolled at the Accademia di San Luca, initially attending the painting class. This choice contrasted with the remarkable family tradition: his grandfather Adamo was a highly prestigious sculptor, among the best Canova pupils and his dad Scipione followed in his father’s footsteps, winning a good success in the same statuary field.
Little is known about Giulio’s life and personality, but it is well known that in a short time he abandons painting to dedicate himself to sculptural practice. Extremely appreciated for the ultimate observation capacity and accuracy in the rendering of details, he devotes most of his production to the realistic genre of protrait, reborn under the reign of Umberto. The main models of Giulio are exponents of the Roman aristocracy and illustrious historical figures, including Queen Margherita, King Umberto I, Guido Baccelli and Silvio Spaventa.
During his career he also devotes himself to the representation of exotic or ideal characters. Significant in this sense are “Cleopatra”, “Samaritan”, “Egyptian”, “Negra” and “Cecilia Metella”. This production of the Roman sculptor can be traced back to the bust presented here: an extraordinary feminine portrait of solemn monumentality and, at the same time, the delicate grace achieved thanks to a warm and immediate inspiration in truth and feeling.
This veiled woman shows all the peculiar characteristics of Giulio Tadolini’s production: the meditation on Baroque sculpture – evident in funerary plastic, a genre in which stands the monument to the pope Leone XIII in San Giovanni in Laterano – coexists with the assimilation of new modern languages, forms and styles influenced by Jugendstil.
In 1879 Tadolini became a member of the Virtues of the Pantheon and Academician of Merit at the Academy of San Luca. At this time he is the commissioner of the administration and the vice-president from 1909 to 1910. The last years of the sculptor’s work will be hindered by World War I, but his son Enrico will continue his paternal activity in the famous Tadolini Studio, placed in via del Babuino in Rome.