Pogliaghi Table Pogliaghi Table Pogliaghi Table Pogliaghi Table Pogliaghi Table
A Monumental Parcel-Gilt, Bronze and Silver Centre Table

Cast from a model by Lodovico Pogliaghi, circa 1890
The detachable silver tray by Champenois, French, circa 1860
The tray stamped with French hallmarks by Champenois

43 in (109.2cm) high, 71 in (180.3cm) wide, 47 ½ in (120.6cm) deep

The collection of a noble family, Italy
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Lodovico Pogliaghi was born on 8 January 1857 in Milan. He attended the Brera Academy of Fine Arts where Giuseppe Bertini taught him painting and composition, guiding him in his first public commissions. One such commission was for the renovation of the Palazzo Turati in Milan in the 1880s. He made the sculptures and a fireplace surmounted by a large bronze statue of Prometheus. In the Basilica di San Antonio in Padua Pogliaghi presented a series of bronze figural tablets which line the nave of the ‘Chapel of the Holy Sacrament’. Depicting the prophets these tablets bear a close resemblance to the present centre table. Additionally one of his early paintings of Naiad and Triton (1879) displays his affinity for the triton subject. However, he is maybe best known for his 1904-8 depiction of the Virgin Mary’s Sorrows and Joys on the monumental bronze doors of the Duomo in Milan.

Pogliaghi established long term relationships with some of the most important patrons in northern Italy. It was for these patrons which he planned entire interiors. The present centre table, Pogliaghi’s chef-d’oeuvre, exemplifies his innovative design and attention to detail. Here the triton appears among shells and bulrushes about to surge forth from the glittering water. His fingers just breaking the “surface” of the Rococo-style silver tray with its sinuous edge. The theatrical effect is made all the more striking for its formidable scale. Not limiting himself to the Renaissance revival or Neo-Gothic styles, he drew together Romantic and Renaissance influences with an Art Nouveau freedom of form. Interestingly, a recently discovered photograph of a plaster model for the Villa Pirotta at Brunate, Como (Pogliaghi worked at the private residence of Villa Pirotta at Brunate, Como in 1902), was discovered together with a handwritten note by Pogliaghi to Mr. Barigozzi, dated 9 March 1916, ‘Dear Mr. Barigozzi, I need the plaster model of the Triton which was made for Mr Pirotta. It has no more arms, which probably are in my atelier. I ask you if you can bring it to Brothers’ Rigola atelier, Mazzini Street n.6. It’s a long time I can’t hear from you. Are you working very hard? Maybe yes, but on other artistic projects. Greetings, your L. Pogliaghi’.

Significantly an identical large silver tray appears in the photograph. It is unclear whether this tray is the tray on the present model or if a duplicate was made. It is also possible that the centre table and silver tray represented a working model for the present table. Another example, possibly the original working model, in bronze painted plaster supporting a marble top was displayed in Pogliaghi’s own home, such was his affection for the work. His home has been preserved as a museum dedicated to his work in Varese.

Careful consideration was taken with the cleaning of this work which has revealed rich silver details in the eyes and gilding on the base.