This outstanding 19th-century Italian carved wood sculpture of a bearded troubadour playing the mandolin was carved by the famous Italian woodcarver, Valentino Panciera Besarel (1829-1902). Valentino Panciera Besarel. was born in the province of Belluno, but became a household name in Venice, where he studied design at the Academy of Fine Arts. His work was widely known throughout Europe, and he flourished in figurative sculpture. In fact, he is considered one of the leading figures in the field of Venetian Neo Renaissance Revival. His works are displayed in national exhibitions in Florence, Milan, and Vienna. Having earned notoriety, gold medals, and success, he was commissioned to create works for the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), the Czar of Russia, grand dukes: Serge and Paul of Russia, Prince Frederick III of Germany, and other members of European royalty such as the Queen of Saxony. He also executed various Saints near Padua for the churches of Estes and Conselve.
This sculpture of a troubadour sits on an excellently carved pedestal. Troubadours were French medieval lyrical poets who often sang about courtly love. The sculpture features Besarel’s artistry like the veins on his hands, the natural fold of his clothing, and the wrinkles near his eyes. His pedestal has acanthus leaves blossoming on the bottom as well as a decorative trim on the top. Overall, this is a true piece of art with hours dedicated to creating a lifelike man. This piece bears the “V Besarel Venezia” stamp by his left foot and bottom of the cloak.
Benezit, Emmanuel. Benezit Dictionary of Artists: Grund. France. 1976.
Ericani, Giuliana, and Anna Maria Spiazzi. Scultura lignea barocca nel Veneto. Verona: Mediovenezie Banca Spa, 1997.
Figure dimensions: H= 37 in., W= 20 in., D= 20 in., weight= 35 lbs.
Pedestal dimensions: H= 32 in., W= 20 in., D= 20 in., weight= 65 lbs.
Total height= 69 in. Total weight= 100 lbs.