The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Arrotino (Knife-Grinder)
  • After Giovanni Battista Foggini (1652 - 1725) , model
  • French School, Cast by
  • The Arrotino (Knife-Grinder)
  • France
  • c. 1700 - 1715 (cast)
  • Statuette
  • Bronze. Wooden base with gilt-bronze mounts
  • Height: 27.9 cm, excluding base
    Length: 31.2 cm, terrain base
    Width: 16.4 cm, terrain base
    Height: 15.8 cm, base only
  • S189
  • Front State Room
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • In 1684 the then Director of the French Academy in Rome commissioned a copy of the famous antique sculpture known as the Arrotino (Knife-grinder) ¬ at that time in the Uffizi in Florence– for King Louis XIV.

    The marble copy of the Arrotino was made by the Florentine sculptor Giovanni Battista Foggini and was displayed in the Parterre du Nord at the Château de Versailles paired with a marble copy of the Crouching Venus, another famed antiquity, carved by the king’s sculptor, Antoine Coysevox (1640–1720).

    The two originals were unrelated, but their pairing at Versailles popularised them as a pendant often reproduced in small-scale bronze replicas such as our pair. Our bronzes, probably made in France in the early eighteenth century were acquired by the 3rd Marquess.