Giuseppe Bessi (1857-1922)
Bust of Beatrice
Association of marble and alabaster
Signed on the back: Prof. G. Bessi.
H.43.5 - L.34.5 - P.17.5 cm
Very beautiful bust of Beatrice finely carved in association of marble and alabaster.
Béatrice Portinari (1266-1290), named simply Béatrice or Béatrix, is the muse of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) whom he loved and glorified since his early childhood. He devoted a preponderant place to it in all his works.
Giuseppe Bessi studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. Then in 1879, he founded his own workshop in Volterra where he created busts and statuettes in alabaster, marble, onyx and also in association. His work is a combination of Neoclassicism and Art Nouveau.
He will be the Director of the Volterra Art School where he will teach there until his death. This school is unique in the world and its reputation without borders, the students are trained there to master the art of sculpture on alabaster. Indeed, the natural alabaster around Volterra has been mined and processed since at least the sixth century BC.
His works in alabaster have been exhibited and awarded at the universal exhibitions of Paris, Turin and Saint-Louis. Its success is international and many works are part of private collections and presented in prestigious museums such as the Hermitage in Saint-Petersburg. The Ecomuseo dell'Alabastro in Volterra has the largest collection of his works. This museum shows the history of the extraction and processing of alabaster from Antiquity to the present day. In honor of his achievements, a street bears his name in Florence.
Giuseppe Bessi (1857-1922), Bust of Beatrice, marbles, 19th century