Overview

Poised tiptoe on a globe, this chubby cherub seems to pirouette, inviting interest from all angles. His complex movement in space is remarkable for a date so early in the Renaissance. Also remarkable is that his projecting limbs have survived for more than five hundred years. This cupid is indeed a rarity—a model in unfired clay.

It is possible that Putto Poised on a Globe served as a model for a bronze fountain figure. Verrocchio made a similar cupid fountain for Florence's Medici family. The National Gallery's boy has puffed out cheeks, pursed lips, and an outstretched arm, suggesting he may have directed a stream of water to a toy pinwheel or similar object. It is also possible that the entire piece rotated; a contemporary of Verrocchio's described a fountain in which the artist used water to spin a statue.

Verrocchio was Florence's leading sculptor in the second half of the fifteenth century. Versatile and inventive, he was also a painter and goldsmith.

Inscription

Marks and Labels

null

Provenance

Louis-Charles Timbal [1821-1880], Paris; Gustave Dreyfus [1837-1914], Paris; his estate; purchased 1930 with the entire Dreyfus collection by (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris);[1] purchased 15 December 1936 by The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh;[2] gift 1937 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1932
Sculpture and Medals of the Renaissance from the Dreyfus Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1932.
2004
Verrocchio's David Restored: A Renaissance Bronze from the National Museum of the Bargello, Florence, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2004, not in cat., not shown at two earlier venues in Florence and Atlanta.

Bibliography

1879
Éphrussi, Charles. “Appendice à l’étude sur les dessin de maîtres.” Gazette des Beaux-Arts, ser. 2, XX (1879): 311.
1882
Bode, Wilhelm von. “Die italienischen Skulpturen der Renaissance in der Kőniglichen Museen, II, Bildwerke des Andrea del Verroccchio.” Jahrbuch der Kőniglich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen III (1882): 99-100.
1901
Mackowsky, Hans. Verrocchio. Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1901: 38, fig. 15.
1901
Venturi, Adolfo. Storia dell'arte Italiana. 11 vols. Milan, 1901-1940: VI (1908): 715.
1904
Cruttwell, Maud. Verrocchio. London, 1904: 70, repro. plate XIII.
1906
Reymond, Marcel. Verrocchio. Paris, 1906: 50, n. 1.
1907
Dussler, Luitpold. "Verrocchio, Andrea del." In Thieme-Becker. 37 vols. Leipzig, 1907-1950: 34(1939):294.
1907
Vitry, Paul. "La collection de M. Gustave Dreyfus: I. - La Sculpture." Les Arts 72 (December 1907): repro. 16.
1919
Schubring, Paul. Die Italienische Plastik des Quattrocento. Berlin, c. 1919: 133.
1925
Venturi, Adolfo. “Leonardiana III.” L’Arte 28 (1925): 146-147.
1931
Mayer, August L. "Die Sammlung Gustave Dreyfus." Pantheon 7 (January 1931):18, repro.
1933
Wiles, Bertha Harris. The Sculptures of the Florentine Sculptors and Their Followers from Donatello to Bernini. Cambridge, Mass., 1933: 9, repro. fig. 16.
1935
Bertini, Aldo. “L’arte del Verrocchio.” L’Arte 38 (November 1935): 447-448.
1937
Cortissoz, Royal. An Introduction to the Mellon Collection. Boston, 1937: repro. 18.
1941
Planiscig, Leo. Andrea del Verrocchio. Vienna, 1941: 35, 52, repro. pl. 55, 56.
1941
Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 237-238, A-17.
1942
Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 253, repro. 237.
1943
Swarzenski, Georg. "Some Aspects of Italian Quattrocento Sculpture in the National Gallery." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 6th series, 24 (November 1943): 298.
1944
Duveen Brothers, Inc. Duveen Sculpture in Public Collections of America: A Catalog Raisonné with illustrations of Italian Renaissance Sculptures by the Great Masters which have passed through the House of Duveen. New York, 1944: figs. 143-144.
1949
Galassi, Guiseppe. La scultura fiorentina del quattrocento. Milan, 1949: 217, repro. pl. 288.
1949
Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 159, repro.
1949
Seymour, Charles. Masterpieces of Sculpture from the National Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1949: 178-179, note 34, repro. 111-112.
1957
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Comparisons in Art: A Companion to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. London, 1957: 103, repro.
1958
Pope-Hennessy, John. Italian Renaissance Sculpture. London, 1958: 295-6.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 173
1966
Balogh, Jolán. "Studi sulla collezione di sculture del museo di belle arti di Budapest. VI." Acta Historiae Artium Academiae Scientarum Hungaricae XII fasciculi 3-4 (1966): 290, fig. 113.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 152, repro.
1969
Heil, Walter. "A Marble Putto." Pantheon XXVII, n. 4 (July-August 1969): 279, fig. 13.
1969
Passavant, Günter. Verrocchio. Sculptures, Paintings and Drawings. Complete Edition. Translated from the German MS by Katherine Watson. London, 1969: 40-41, 196-97, cat. A3, fig. 56, fig. 57.
1969
Pope-Hennessy, John. "The 'aemulus" of Donatello." Times Literary Supplement (13 November 1969).
1971
Seymour, Charles. The Sculpture of Verrocchio. Greenwich, CT, 1971: 124, 167-68, cat. 16, fig. 160, fig. 161.
1972
Covi, Dario. "Review of G. Passavant, Verrocchio, translated by Katherine Watson, 1969." Art Bulletin 54, n. 1 (March 1972): 91.
1972
Dussler, Luitpold. "Charles Seymour, Jr.: the Sculpture of Verrocchio." Pantheon 30 (November 1972): 518.
1975
Passavant, Günter. "The sculpture of Verrocchio. By Charles Seymour." Burlington Magazine CXVII (January 1975): 55-56.
1985
Donatello e il primo Rinascimento nei calchi della Gipsoteca. Exh. cat. Gipsoteca dell'Istituto Statale d'Arte, Florence, 1985: cat. 241.
1989
Passavant, Gunter. "Überlegungen zur Rotationsmechanik von Verrocchios Delphinputto." Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz XXXIII Band, Heft 1 (1989): 108, fig. 5.
1992
Parronchi, Alessandro. "Il Putto di Washington." In Verrocchio and Late Quattrocento Italian Sculpture. Steven Bule, Alan Phipps Darr, and Fiorella Superbi Gioffredi. eds. (Acts of two conferences commemorating the fifth centenary of Verrocchio’s death. I. April 1988 at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; II. June 1989 at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno and the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti, Florence). Florence, 1992: 153-156.
1992
Stapleford, Richard. The Age of Lorenzo de' Medici: Patronage and the Arts in Renaissance Florence. A Walking Tour of Italian Painting and Sculpture in the National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1992: 10, repro.
1994
Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1994: 233, repro.
1995
Grasselli, Margaret Morgan, ed. The Touch of the Artist. Exh. cat. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1995: cat. 9e, fig. 1.
1997
Bambach, Goldner, Cecchi et. al 1997. The Drawings of Filippino Lippi and His Circle. Exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997: 278, 280.
1997
Butterfield, Andrew. The Sculptures of Andrea del Verrocchio. New Haven and London, 1997: 135, 240, no. 30, pl. 177.
1998
Butterfield, Andrew, and David Franklin. "A documented episode in the history of renaissance 'terracruda' sculpture." The Burlington Magazine 140, n. 1149 (December 1998): 821, 822, fig. 49.
1998
Fenton, James. "Verrocchio: The New Cicerone." In Leonardo's Nephew: Essays on Art and Artists. New York, 1998: 56, fig. 18.
1999
Brandt, Kathleen Weil-Garris. Leonardo e la scultura. Florence, 1999: 19-20 n. 33.
1999
Rubin, Patricia Lee, and Alison Wright. Renaissance Florence: The Art of the 1470s. New Haven, 1999: 208.
1999
Serros, Richard. "The Verrocchio Workshop: Techniques, Production, and Influences." PhD diss., University of California, Santa Barbara (1999): 377-78, 486 [B36] fig. VII.63.
2003
Vogel, Carol. "Another Trip for 'David'." The New York Times (July 18, 2003).
2003
Windt, Franziska. Andrea del Verrocchio und Leonardo da Vinci: Zusammenarbeit in Skulptur und Malerei. Münster, 2003: 145-149, fig. 85, fig. 86.
2005
Covi, Dario. Andrea del Verrocchio, Life and Work. Florence, 2005: 167-170, 225-226 n. 76, figs. 167, 168.
2011
Pócs, Dániel. “White marble sculptures from the Buda Castle: Reconsidering some facts about an antique statue and a fountain by Verrocchio.” In Italy & Hungary. Humanism and Art in the Early Renaissance. Proceedings of an international conference held at the Villa I Tatti, Florence, June 6-8, 2007. Farbaky, Peter and Louis A. Waldman, eds. Villa I Tatti, Florence and Milan, 2011: 553-608, esp. 564-5.

Technical Summary

null

Related Works

Related Resources

  • Event Type
    Event Name
    March 1–June 1
    Mon, Tues, and Wed at 1:00
    March 5, 2012 at 2:00
    March 7, 2012 at 4:00
    East Building, Auditorium
    Name of docent
    image:
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum
    60 minutes
    Registration for this event begins on April 1, 2012 at noon.
    Download the program notes (100k)
  • Self-Guided Tour
    Italian Collection
    image:
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum