BERTOS, Francesco
(active 1693-1733)


Italian sculptor, born and died in Dolo, a small town near Padua. Documents record him as working in Rome in 1693 and in Venice in 1710. Records of his activity cease after 1733, the year in which he received a commission for two candlesticks for the basilica of Sant'Antonio (il Santo) in Padua.

He produced distinctive, small-scale sculptural groups, usually in bronze, sometimes in marble. These decorative pieces, purchased avidly by 18th-century Italians and tourists to Italy, made their way into various collections in Europe and North America.

Typical of his bronze groups are the Allegory of Triumph (Art institute, Chicago) and America (Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore), both with several allegorical figures arranged in a boldly dynamic pyramid. The elongated, twisting figures are almost Mannerist in their proportions and assume difficult, seemingly weightless poses. Many of the works recall Giambologna's sculptures; indeed Bertos made a small-scale marble copy (Palazzo Reale, Turin) of Giambologna's Rape of the Sabine Women (Florence, Loggia dei Lanzi).

All his pieces are virtuosic, no matter what the size or number of figures included, and display Bertos's knowledge both of the bronze statuettes of Renaissance craftsmen and of 15th-century German goldsmith's pieces.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.