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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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"The Extreme Effort" | Alfredo Pina

Pina, Alfredo

Regular Price: $8,500.00
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catalog text

Italian, 1883-1966

"Homme Genoux sur un Rocher" or "The Extreme Effort"

Lost-wax cast in patinated bronze | signed through mold "A. Pina" | foundry cachet "cire purdue 12 A.G. Paris"

Item # 405BDH23A 

In a jewel-like patina that is chaotic with a full range of hues from subtle green and lime, a spectrum from copper to ruby red and browns that move from autumnal through to nearly black charcoal, this moving modernist work by Alfredo Pina depicts a man in anguish. Titled by his biographer The Extreme Effort, he writes:

'Here at first is the Extreme Effort toward liberation, the mad hope of deliverance splendidly represented by this man who, kneeling on a rock, turns his head toward implacable heaven and wrings his arms'

The model was cast by the A.G. foundry in Paris in the lost-wax method, sealed with their cachet verso and numbered 12. His signature is captured in the bronze directly from the mold, not added or enhanced after the casting. It is a deeply moving work that positively glows in diffuse light.

Born in Milan, Italy, Alfredo Pina studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera. He continued to work and exhibit almost exclusively in Italy until 1906 when he won the Grand Prix Nationale for sculpture. Not long thereafter he moved to Paris to continue his work at a studio he set up in Sceaux, prompted in large part by his admiration for Rodin and his interest in studying under him. His work became heavily influenced by the French modernists and he also studied under Antoine Bourdelle.

He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français and became an Associate member in 1911. He became a jury member of the Salon d'Automne, where he would continue to exhibit regularly. He presented two bronzes cast by the foundry Montagutelli at the Salon of 1914, one a statuette of La Douleur and the second a group  of Victor Hugo. Starting in 1920 he began to exhibit at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants and at the Salon des Tuileries; around this same time he began collaborating with the renowned foundry Valsuani, a partnership that greatly boosted his commercial opportunities. He also presented his work internationally, most notably in New York City. In 1922 he moved permanently to Mesves, France and became a naturalized French citizen.

Artist Listings & Bibliography:

  • E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. X, Gründ, 2006, p. 1458-59
  • Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century: A Dictionary of Sculptors, Pierre Kjellberg, 1994, p 545-547 [present model pictured p. 546, 43 cm.
  • The Dictionary of Western Sculptors in Bronze, James Mackay, 1977, p. 299
  • Alfredo Pina, Gaston de Pawlowski, 1929

Present model auction results:

  • Sotheby's London, May 17 2011, lot 110, 5250 GBP ($ 8511 USD)
  • Sotheby's London, November 5 2002, lot 205, 4182 GBP ($ 6533 USD)
  • Sotheby's London, April 9 2003, lot 212, 7200 GBP ($ 11,192 USD)
  • Sotheby's London, May 20 2015, lot 134, 3750 GBP, ($ 5833 USD)

Measurements: 17" H (sculpture), 18 3/8" H (total, including base); 8" D x 7 3/4" W (sculpture)

Condition Report:
Exquisite original condition. No noted flaws. A very fine and well-preserved surface patina. Cleaned and conserved, sealed in wax and ready to place.