Four Solomonic Italian Baroque Columns

(Late 18th century)


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Fantastic ensemble of four Solomonic columns of the Italian Baroque. Gold and Silver leaved Helical columns in carved wood and stucco (plaster), characterized by a spiraling twisting shaft associated with Corinthian capitals and acanthus leaves. The twisted S-curve shaft gives energy and dynamism to the traditional column form which fits these qualities that are characteristically Baroque.

Size: 220cm

Late 18th century Italy

Lit: The Solomonic column also called barley-sugar column, in architecture, so called because there were similar columns at the Apostle’s tomb in Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. According to legend, they had been imported from the Temple of Solomon in ancient Jerusalem by Emperor Constantin. When Gian Lorenzo Bernini worked at New St. Peter’s Basilica (finished in 1633), he echoed the salomónica design in the columns that supported the baldachin over the altar above the tomb. The structure, similar in appearance to the twisted stalk of a barley-sugar plant, became popular in Romanesque architecture and the type of Spanish Baroque called Churrigueresque.

During the succeeding century, Solomonic columns were commonly used in altars, furniture, and other parts of design. Sculpted vines were sometimes carved into the spiraling cavetto of the twisting columns, or made of metal, such as gilt bronze.

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