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silla was born out of a passion for beautiful objects: special pieces with aesthetic and historical significance. In 2009, after years of collecting, Andrew Silla and his wife Grace began to work privately with clients from their residence in Southern Maryland. Quickly outgrowing the space, the business was moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania in 2012 and after several warehouse location changes it was firmly settled in the present brick-and-mortar location in downtown Shippensburg.

The 9000 square foot brick-and-mortar gallery is home to a large collection of works of art and estate jewelry. We specialize in sculpture circa 1860 through 1930 with a particular emphasis on the Animaliers and as such the gallery always has a very large collection of exceptional European and American sculpture available on display.

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Grand Tour Busts of "Homer" & "Pseudo-Seneca" | Chiurazzi Foundry


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Italian School

Pair of Busts, "Homer" & "Pseudo-Seneca", after Antiquity

Patinated bronze mounted on solid marble plinths | cast by Chiurazzi, Naples circa 1880 | each sealed with foundry cachet on shoulder

Item # 304KUV24Y 

A rare and exciting pair of Grand Tour busts after Antiquity, each is executed in bronze and finished in a Herculaneum black patina with hints of verde in the underlying surface by the foundry of J. Chiurazzi of Naples. Foundry seals are located on their shoulders verso.

The first is a fine cast of Homer after the marble bust of Antiquity formerly in the Farnese collection and currently in the permanent collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. It depicts the aged Greek poet and author of the Illiad and the Odyssey as a bearded man dressed in a tunic with a ribbon holding back his hair while concerned wrinkles line his forehead. His eyes are empty and devoid of anything, the absence alluding to his blindness while the sheer intensity of his spirit overwhelms the viewer. His simple garment are a reminder of his poverty.

The second bust known as "Pseudo Seneca" is cast after the original bust of antiquity found in 1754 at Herculaneum in the Villa of the Papyri, the home of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, father-in-law of Julius Caesar. The estate was buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The bust had been thought to be an image of Lucius Annaeus Seneca - Seneca the Younger - the famous Stoic philosopher and fabulously wealthy advisor to Nero. However, after a titled bust of Seneca was discovered with very different features, scholars now have various opinions on the attribution of the bust with most believing it to be an image of Hesiod or Aristophanes, while some also attribute it to Aesop, Apollonius of Rhodes, or Callimachus. The sculptor must have been very famous and the image of lasting quality, as forty copies of the bust made in antiquity have been found. It is incredibly dramatic, the emmaciated man looking forward with elements of sorrow, determination and haggard exhaustion as his unkempt hair furls chaotically around his forehead. Importantly, the present example retains its original inlaid marble eyes, a powerful counterpoint to "Homer". As expected in the early examples from the Chiurazzi foundry, the chiseling is exceedingly good and leaves the viewer with equal portions of sorrow and awe. The withered, impoverished and defeated images before the viewer exist in contradiction with the powerhouse of thought and longevity of influence these two figures were to represent.

They represent a rare and exciting selection for the carefully coordinated library or study.

*Please note, these busts are incredibly heavy, each weighing in at approximately 325 lbs each. Plans should be made to have professional assistance to unpack and move them into place upon receipt.

Measurements: 42" H x 11 1/4" D x 14 1/4" W

Condition Report:
Trace wear to the original patina throughout, particularly to the relief: raised edges of hair, noses, cheeks, etc. Original marble plinths each with extensive chipping throughout. An incredibly fine presentation, ready to place.