Vittorio Amedeo III and M. Antonia of Savoy
Giovanni Battista Bernero (1736-1796)
1774, Plaster and painted stucco
These reliefs depicting the profiles of the King of Sardinia and his consort Maria Antonia of Bourbon belong to the late period of the Piedmontese sculptor Giovanni Battista Bernero, who received the commission from the court on the occasion of the wedding of Prince Charles Emmanuel (from 1796, Charles Emmanuel IV, King of Sardinia) to Marie Clotilde of France, younger sister of Louis XVI, celebrated in 1775. Giovanni Battista Bernero began his activity in his twenties in Turin with Beaumont and continued his training in Rome with the Collino brothers, also from Turin. In 1770, having returned to his homeland, he began work as a sculptor for the Royal House of Savoy, and was appointed Court sculptor in 1774 and then professor at the Royal Academy of Turin in 1778. He applied himself primarily to sculpture and relief, in particular to marble relief. Among his best-known works are the marble lunette in the cathedral of Carignano (S. Remigio kneeling before Christ and S. Giovanni, 1772), bas-reliefs for the church of S. Filippo Neri in Turin, and reliefs of classical subjects in the Royal Armoury.