Furio Piccirilli (American (born Italy), Massa 1868–1949 Rome)
45 x 24 x 22 in. (114.3 x 61 x 55.9 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1929
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
Of the numbers of animals Piccirilli carved, none surpassed the sculptural quality of his "Seal." The sea creature, characteristically portrayed balancing on top of a sloping rock, appears to have just emerged from the water, an impression vividly evoked by the glossy, highly polished finish of the black marble. Unlike the few marble sculptors of his time who carved their own works in stone directly to scale, Piccirilli modeled his subject first in clay and then enlarged it himself to its present size in the permanent medium. "Seal" was exhibited in the 1929 annual exhibition of the National Academy of Design, where it won the Ellin P. Speyer Memorial Prize for best representation of an animal.
Signature: [on rock, front]: Furio_Piccirilli/_fecit_1927