The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Dancing Putti
  • After Donatello (1386 - 1466)
  • After Michelozzo (1396 - 1472)
  • Dancing Putti
  • Italy
  • 1776 (Probably)
  • Relief
  • Plaster with brown wash. Wood
  • Height: 71.2 cm
    Width: 78 cm
  • S5
  • Smoking Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This panel and its companion (S5) are casts from Panels II and IV respectively (from the right in the original structure) made by Donatello for the exterior Pulpit of the Cathedral of Prato (Tuscany).

    The pulpit contained seven panels, all with dancing putti, commissioned from Donatello and Michelozzo (Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, 1396-1472) in 1428 and produced in their workshop in 1434-38. It is generally accepted that some of the panels were made by workshop assistants, although all the models had been designed by Donatello himself.

    Seven casts of the original panels are documented. Examination of the backs of our casts made it clear that the panels were cast from the originals as they still bear traces of the mosaic background of the original pulpit. It is most likely that they were taken on the occasion of the restoration of the pulpit in 1776.

    The casts were acquired by Sir Richard Wallace as part of the collection of the vicomte Both de Tauzia (1823-1888). Of Dutch origins, the vicomte spent most of his career as curator of paintings and drawings the Louvre and put together a small collection, mostly of Italian works. Caught in the upheaval following the fall of Napoleon III in 1870, de Tauzia decided to sell his collection to Wallace in 1872.