Cupid and Lucretia
Giovanni Francesco Pieri (1699-1773)
1750, Polychrome wax in a gilded wooden frame
These two polychrome wax compositions, set in a gilded wooden frame with protective glass, were produced by Neapolitan sculptor Giovanni Francesco Pieri. The Cupid is taken from a painting from the 1710s by Bartolomeo Schedoni, now in the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, while the Lucretia is based on Parmigianino's Lucrezia romana, also located in Capodimonte and believed to be the artist's last work before his death. These two small wax paintings are in fact part of a series inspired by famous paintings by mostly Emilian artists in the Farnese collections held by the Bourbons in Naples. In fact, one could divide Pieri's wax production into four series: the aforementioned adaptations in wax of Emilian works from the Farnese collection, to which these two belong; a series of portraits of rulers, based on his work as a medallist; a small group of paintings depicting scenes of everyday life, mostly genre scenes and peasant life; and finally, religious scenes.