We are delighted to present Body and Soul, the first collaborative exhibition of andrew Butterfield Fine arts and Moretti Fine art. We have joined forces to create this ex- hibition because of our deep commitment to the genius and beauty of Italian sculpture, and we hope to share this interest with a broad audience: connoisseurs, curators and historians, as well as the public at large.
as we aim to suggest by the title Body and Soul, the essence of Renaissance statuary was the desire to depict at one and the same time a realization of the human form combined with a manifestation of the human spirit. a painting is a picture of the world. But a sculpture is a thing, a body, a presence. all great sculptures present a body and show the animating sprit within. this ideal for statuary is found throughout time and all over the world, as the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea and comparable legends from so many cultures clearly demonstrate. Yet this magical ideal of sculpture was particularly prevalent in Italy during the Renaissance and Baroque. Vasari recounts that when finishing a statue for the campanile, Donatello said to it “Speak! Speak, or may the plague strike you!” In a similar way, contemporaries wrote that Bernini could achieve the miraculous by making his marbles seem to speak — “facendo parlare i marmi.” of all the arts, sculpture came the closest to capturing the vital spark of life.
the works we have gathered in this exhibition, including sculptures by rivals and followers of Donatello and Bernini, such as Ghiberti, Riccio, Verrocchio and algardi, combine ide- ality and naturalism of form with intensity and depth of expression. In these works the artists aimed to grasp not only the outer appearance but also the inner life of the figures they represent. the range of emotion depicted is extraordinary, from the peace and seren- ity of Sansovino’s Charity—literally an embodiment of divine love—to the fear and anger of Verrocchio’s Head of a Gorgon—a manifestation of olympian terror.
one of the miracles of a great work of art is that the emotions the artist invested in it long ago continue to resonate and speak to us even today. this is especially true of masterpieces of Italian Renaissance and Baroque sculpture with their supreme and unwavering con- centration on exterior beauty and interior spirit, presence and essence: Body and Soul.
With essays by Andrea Bacchi, Andrew Butterfield, C.D. Dickerson, Marc Fumaroli, Giancarlo Gentilini, Tomaso Montanari, and Riccardo Spinelli.
Featuring works by Andrea Del Verrocchio, Jacopo Sansovino, Andrea Riccio, Alessandro Algardi, Giambattista Foggini, Pierre Le Gros, and Giuseppe Mazzuoli.