BERTOS, Francesco
(active 1693-1733)

St Francis Xavier and St Ignatius Loyola

Bronze, height 63 cm (each)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Images of saints are rare in the artist's oeuvre. He is best remembered for bronze and marble groups of figures piled one atop the other in pyramids that suggest acrobatic exercises.The technical virtuosity required to undercut so many components in marble or to attach a cluster of elevated figures in bronze pleased patrons who sought novelty and variety.

The two figures shown here are designed as complementary, turning toward one another. The little cherubs, with their dancing posture are the kind of youth the sculptor repeatedly chose for his multifigured groups.