The Art of the Beast

29 Nov 2018 – 7 Dec 2018

Brun Fine Art

England, United Kingdom


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  • Green Park, Bond Street, Piccadilly

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Brun Fine Art is delighted to announce the new exhibition The Art of The Beast presented on the occasion of the Winter Edition of London Art Week.


Opening on 29 November 2018 at 38 Old Bond Street, the exhibition will explore the theme of animals as the subject of art, featuring an impressive selection of paintings, sculptures and decorative objects that share this common theme. Presented across the two floors of the gallery, this selling exhibition aims to showcase animals depicted in art across centuries and in different mediums, including bronze, marble, wax, micro mosaic, and oil on canvas.

A highlight of the show will be a selection of bronze animals by the Italian artist Sirio Tofanari (Florence, 1886 - Milan, 1969), who is commonly regarded as one of the greatest Italian bronze sculptor of the 20th century. After training at the Academy of Art in Florence, Tofanari travelled to Paris and London to pursue his artistic career. During his time in London, Tofanari’s vocation as an animal sculptor became most evident: the artist used to visit regularly the zoo and the National History Museum to study and ob- serve animal subjects and learn how to best portray them in bronze. Gazelles, dogs, hares, parrots and deers are among the Tofanari animals Brun Fine Art is proud to exhibit.

A very important painting featured in the show will be Homo Homini Lupus, by Pseudo Caroselli, dating early 17th century. The enigmatic scene presents on the left-hand side a leopard next to a decapitat- ed head of a man, and on the right-hand side a lion standing before a helmet shaped like a drag- on’s head and decorated with feathers. The striking facial expressions of the two felines appear to be almost anthropomorphic, revealing the painting’s subtle meaning. Indeed, the scene could allude to the cruelty of man and his bestiality: as the Latin proverb declares homo homini lupus (‘A man is a wolf to another man’), the nature of man is essentially egotistical, and his actions are only determined by the instinct to survive and to assert power. This painting is among the works attributed to Pseudo Caroselli, an artist whose identity remains obscure but whose activity has been associated with that of the Roman painter Angelo Caroselli (1585–1652). Probably a Northern European artist active in Rome during the first half of the 17th century, Pseudo Caroselli specialized in still life painting and was particularly skilled in the depiction of fabrics, feathers, carpets and animals. The artist’s attention to details and the use of fine but densely loaded brushstrokes in the rendering of the feathers, the fabric before the lion, and the animals’ fur, position him within the tradition of Northern European painting, but also point to a period of activity in Rome in the early 1600s. Other works on show will include a wax model of a lioness, a Hungarian silver peacock, an Italian micromosaic plque depicting a rabbit, and fine examples of various animals sculpted in marble.

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