Bartolini’s Ninfa Arnina, a treasure lost and found

Ninfa Arnina di Lorenzo Bartolini

Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850) was an important Tuscan sculptor – author, among other works, of the extraordinary “Trust in God we showcased in a previous article.

As an artist and teacher, he fought the Neoclassical taste that dominated his times by prompting his students – at Florence’s Fine Arts Academy – to draw inspiration from “natural beauty”, and to stop merely imitating ancient art or Canova’s statues.

The beautiful marble Arnina Nymph (also known as Ninfa Arnina, in Italian) was one of his masterpieces, but we knew about it only from a few plaster cast models used to make replicas.

The original was found in 2013 – it had been “hiding” in an English private collection for years – and showcased in the Gallery of the Florentine Academy between 2014 and 2015.

Here she is now, finally where we can all admire her.

March 7, 2016