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By Pugi, Guglielmo (Italian, 1850-1915)
This superb sculpted bust is a magnificent example of the Art Nouveau, the natural, flowing lines and forms of which revolutionised early 20th Century art.
Guglielmo Pugi was born in Fiesole, outside of Florence, in 1850. Pugi opened a highly successful studio in Florence, which he later operated with his two sons. The trio saw significant success with the advent of the Art Nouveau and were featured in the 1901 World Fair in the United States. The present sculpture is signed ‘Flli Pugi / Firenze’, for Fratelli G. and F. Pugi, Guglielmo’s two sons.
The bust, sculpted from white marble, is a superb example of the Art Nouveau style. The young woman, whose hair is tied up and face evinces a broad smile, wears a light dress which, when it meets the supporting plinth, dissolves into a diffusion of waves typical of the naturalistic Art Nouveau. The marble throughout is superbly sculpted—see, for instance, the rose she wears in her hair, wherein each petal is intricately rendered.
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