Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Putto on a Dolphin

Artist:
Circle of Gérard van Opstal (1605–1668)
Date:
mid-17th century
Culture:
French, Paris
Medium:
Ivory
Dimensions:
4 x 8-1/2 in. (10.2 x 21.6 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture-Miniature
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1962
Accession Number:
62.74
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 532
Collectors in French courtly circles prized van Opstal's reworking in ivory of themes he employed in large-scale architectural reliefs carved for palaces and private mansions in Paris. The land- and sea-based mythological scenes in which he specialized were clearly inspired by his fellow Fleming Rubens, who was, in turn, inspired by antique Roman sarcophagi. Van Opstal's ivories are often pierced and evidently meant to be mounted against a dark background. This example, perhaps by a follower, may have been intended for an ebony cabinet.
Stephan von Auspitz
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