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Maria Clotilde di Savoia


Maria Clotilde di Savoia
Carrara marble 50,5 x 36 cm

Maria Pia di Savoia
Carrara marble 52,5 x 39 cm

The works depict the two young princesses Maria Clotilde (1843-1911) and Maria Pia (1847-1911) of Savoy, daughters of Vittorio Emanuele II, on the occasion of their respective marriages. The first was married in January 1859, at only sixteen, to Napoleon Joseph Bonaparte, cousin of Emperor Napoleon III, to seal the Plombières Agreement. The second, in July 1862, was married to Luís I of Portugal, of the House of Braganza, and she became queen consort.

With meticulous formal balance and extraordinary handling of the marble, the sculptor has captured the freshness of the young princesses and their refined elegance. They were almost certainly modelled from lost prototypes to two busts on show at Racconigi Castle, which are larger but are of the same proportions as the Genoese ones. Varni was commissioned to create the sculptures for the Ligurian royal palace by the son of Vittorio Emanuele II, Odone of Savoy, who lived in an apartment that his father had reserved for him at the Palazzo Reale in Genoa from 1861 to 1866.

  • Santo Varni
  • 1862 - 1863
  • marmo di Carrara
  • Camera da letto della Regina