Fort Worth museum buys Bernini sculpture

March 29, 2004 at 1:27 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 29 (UPI) -- The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, has bought the finest surviving terracotta sculpture by the Italian Renaissance master, Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

"The Moor" was made in 1653 as a model for a fountain in Rome's Piazza Navona.

In announcing the purchase on the weekend, the museum identified the work as the figure of a nude triton that was rediscovered several years ago. It was purchased by a New York dealer at Sotheby's auction house in London in 2002 for $3 million as "attributed to Bernini." The dealer, Salander O'Reilly, authenticated the piece and placed it on the market with a price tag of $15 million, but the Kimbell purchase price was not announced.

It is believed the terracotta, a model for the finished marble statue, was made by the artist as a presentation piece for Pope Innocent X who commissioned the fountain in 1651.

"The Moor" is the second rare terracotta acquired by the Kimbell in recent months, the other being a 1500 portrait bust of a woman, believed to be Isabella d'Este, attributed to Gian Cristoforo Romano.

Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Blake Shelton drops off Miranda Lambert's belonging at her house
Chloe Bennet shows off new Daisy Johnson haircut
Liam Neeson sparks concern with frail appearance
Sherri Shepherd will return to 'The View'
Jon Stewart responds to Huckabee's Holocaust reference with complete silence