Bust of Mademoiselle Jannette Nini
Giovanni Battista Nini (1717-1786)
This exquisite Rococo-style sculpture is dated 1762 and was made by the Urbino artist Giovan Battista Nini, or Jean-Baptiste Nini, as he was known in France, where he moved in 1758 from Spain. After an excellent start to his career working for the Real Fábrica de Cristales where he learned the art of glass carving, he came up against the censorship of the Inquisition and landed in prison. Nini had trained with his engraver father, then studied in Bologna at the Accademia Clementina di Pittura, Scultura e Architettura, where he came into contact with the best local Rococo artists. Of his valuable sculptural production, this fine bust of an unidentified Mademoiselle Nini is the only known example of work in terracotta. This sweet young girl - caught in an intimate family moment with her hair up and adorned with small roses, her shy gaze shy directed downwards - is delicately transformed by Nini into an ideal model, lacking psychological depth, like the Venuses, Dianas and bathing nymphs that populated the paintings of François Boucher, who had inspired Giovan Battista on at least one occasion, when he translated one of his paintings onto glass.