Benzoni, Giovanni Maria (1809-73; Italian)
Four Seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn,Winter)
Marble, sizes unknown
Presented by P.Davis, 1864; de-accessioned and presented to the City of Mildura, 1943; auctioned, 1952 (?)
Unidentified; present location unknown
Benzoni’s Roman workshop generated replicas of many of his statues, including several sets of busts of the Seasons.
The NGV’s Stock Book (Acquisitions Register), describing these works as “Idealities,” clearly notes that they were de-accessioned and presented to Mildura by order of Daryl Lindsay and the Trustees in February 1943. Anna Barricelli, in her entry on Benzoni in the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (1966), indicates that the statues formerly in Melbourne were auctioned in 1952. Further research may indicate their later fate.
Another Winter (signed and dated 1865) was auctioned in London in 2014: see reproduction at right.
SB, p.68 (Statues), noting the formal de-acquisition and transfer to Mildura 15/2/43; NGV 1865, p.29; NGV 1880, p.3 (under ‘Busts’); NGV 1894, pp.129-133 (VI.Rotunda, nos.39, 1, 21 & 22 respectively); NGV 1905, pp.154-5 (VI.Sculpture – Entrance Hall, nos.12, 13, 4 & 5 respectively)
http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/giovanni-maria-benzoni_(Dizionario-Biografico)/ (biography by Anna Barricelli, originally published in 1966: as noted above; accessed 25/9/18). See also Bénézit 2, pp.192-93 (listing the statues as still in Melbourne). For other Benzoni busts of the Seasons, see e.g. http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/giovanni-maria-benzoni-italian,-1809-1873-105-c-yzmwo10kqu, reproducing a female bust of Spring, signed and dated 1851, from an Italian private collection, auctioned by Sotheby’s, London, July 2004; and http://www.sothebys.com/content/sothebys/es/auctions/ecatalogue/2014/19th-century-sculpture-l14232/lot.43.html (Winter 1865, as reproduced above; also indicating that “there is a complete set of Benzoni’s Four Seasons in the Melbourne Art Gallery, Australia”)