These candlesticks are on tripod bases formed by three scrolls, on each of which reclines a putto. A number of features recall the style of the Genoese sculptor Nicolò Roccatagliata, active in Venice in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, in particular of his large candelabra and sconces in the church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice (1594 – 96).(1) The similarities are expressed in the large bracket-shaped feet, the putto type, the motif of the supporting putti, the cherub masks, and the large rosettes on the top section balusters. However, the Lehman candlesticks lack the sense of lightness, balance, and openwork design of Roccatagliata’s documented work. It is therefore possible that they belong to a later stage in his career or, more likely, to that of his son and collaborator Sebastiano Nicolini, whose candelabra for the Cappella del Rosario in the church of Santissimi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice (1631 – 33), also share many features with the Lehman pair.(2)
Catalogue entry from: Frits Scholten. The Robert Lehman Collection. European Sculpture and Metalwork, Vol. XII. Frits Scholten, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in association with Princeton University Press, 2011, pp. 206-207.
1. Planiscig, Leo. Venezianische Bildhauer der Renaissance. Vienna, 1921, figs. 661, 662; Kryza-Gersch, Claudia. "New Light on Nicolò Roccatagliata and His Son Sebastian Nicolini." Nuovi studi 5, 1998, figs. 194, 195.
3. Kryza-Gersch, fig. 206.