Mars: Allegory of Summer and Fire, ca. 1545

  • Danese Cattaneo, Italian, ca. 1509 - 1572

Bronze, cast after wax model, black patina

  • Overall: 47 × 18 × 14 inches (119.4 × 45.7 × 35.6 cm)

Founders Society Purchase with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Edgar B. Whitcomb


On View

  • European: Medieval and Renaissance W233


European Sculpture and Dec Arts

Mars and Neptune were long attributed to Jacopo Sansovino, a Florentine sculptor and architect who also worked in Rome and Venice. These large bronzes were discovered in Venice about 1840. Mars has been interpreted variously as a representation of the Roman god of war himself or as an allegory of Summer and Fire, while Neptune god of the sea, may allude to Winter and the element Water. These large bronzes may have been trial works for a monumental Venetian tomb or used on a staircase or next to a mantelpiece.

Palazzo Rezzonico (Venice, Italy)

Count William von Pourtales (Berlin, Germany)

Count Friedrich von Pourtales

dealer, Rosenberg and Stiebel (New York, New York, USA)

1949-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Bode, W. Werk Uber der Renaissance Ausstellung. Berlin, 1898, p. 1 (pls. 28, 56). Bode, W. Die Italienische Bronze Statuetten der Renaissance, Vol. 2. Berlin,, 1907, p. 23 (pl. 44). Planiscig, L. Collections Camillo Gastiglioni. Vienna. Planiscig, L. Catalogue des Bronzes Antiques et de la Renaissance. Amsterdam, 1925, no. 37. Gazette des Beaux Arts 2 (1892) : p. 159. Richardson, E.P. "Two Bronze Figures by Jacopo Sansovino." Bulletin of the DIA 29, 3 (1949-50): pp. 58-62. Richardson, E.P. Catalogue of the Whitcomb Gifts. Detroit Institute of Arts, 1954, p. 129. Verzeichnis der National Wertvollen Kunstwerke. Berlin, 1927, p. 19, no. 362. Wiehrauch, H.R. Studien Sum Werke der Jacopo Sansovino. Strassbourg, 1935, p. 96. Venturi, A. Encyclopaedia Italiana, Vol. 30. 1936, p. 58. DIA Pictures on Exhibit 12, 2 (November 1949): pp. 59-60. Richardson, E.P. "Two Bronzes by Jacopo Sansovino." Art Quarterly 13, 1 (Winter 1950): pp. 2-11. Bode, Wilhelm. The Italian Bronze Statuettes of the Renaissance, new edition. New York, 1980, p. 57, p. 101f (pl. 154). Planiscig, L. Venezianische Bildauer der Renaissance. Vienna, 1921, p. 353. [as not by Sansovino] Wiehrauch, Hans R. Thieme-Becker, Vol. 32 (1938): p. 469. [Propylaen, 1926, p. 516; as not by Sansovino] Ciardi-Dupre, M.G. "La Prima attivita dell'Ammanati. [as possibly not by Sansovino] Pope-Hennessy, J. "An exhibition of Italian Bronze Statuettes." Essays on Italian Sculpture. London, 1968, p. 191. [as by Cattaneo] Kinney, P. The Early Sculpture of Bartolomeo Ammanati. New York, 1976, pp. 106-108, no. 29. [as by Cattaneo] Boucher, Bruce. The Genius of Venice, 1500-1600. Royal Academy of Arts. London, 1983 - 1984, pp. 383-384, no.S32 and S33 (ill.). [as attributed to Ammanati] Pope-Hennessy, J. "The Relations Between Florentine and Venetian Sculpture in the Sixteenth Century." Florence and Venice: Comparisons and Relations, II, Cinquecento. Florence, 1980, p 333. [S. Bertelli, ed.] Martineau, J., and C. Hope. The Genius of Venice, 1500- 1600. London, pp. 383-384, S33 (ill.). Ciardi-Dupre, M.G. "Bronzi di Bartolomeo Ammanati." Paragone 151 (1962): pp. 57-59. Jacob, S. Italienische Bronzen. Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum. Braunschweig, 1972. Perry, M. "A Greek Bronze in Renaissance Venice." Burlington Magazine 117 (1975): p. 207. Ciardi-Dupre dal Pogetto, M.G. "Nuove ipotesi sui Cellini." Essays Presented to Myron P. Gilmore, vol. II. Florence, 1977, pp. 95-106. Jacob, S. "Bartolomeo Ammanati Zugeschreiben Sitzender Mann." Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum. Braunschweig, 1978. Davis, C. “Review of The Genius of Venice 1500-1600 exhibition.” Kunstchronik 37, 3 (March 1984): p. 87. [as not by Ammanati] Rearick, W.R. "Observations on the Venetian Cinquecento in the Light of the Royal Academy Exhibition." Artibus et Historiae 9 (1984): pp. 73-74. Schubring, P. Die Kunst der Hock Renaissance in Italien. Propylaen, 1926, p. 516. [as by Francesco da San Gallo] Middeldorf, U. Thieme-Becker, Vol. 32. 1938, pp. 405-411. [as by Francesco da San Gallo] Masterpieces from the Detroit Institute of Arts. Bunkamura Museum of Art. Tokyo, 1989, cat. 9 (ill.). Darr, A.P., P. Barnet, A. Bostrom, with contributions by C. Avery... [et. al.]. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Detroit Institute of Arts. London, 2002, 2 vols., I, cat. 102b.

attributed to Danese Cattaneo, Mars: Allegory of Summer and Fire, ca. 1545, bronze, cast after wax model, black patina. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Edgar B. Whitcomb, 49.418.