Pompeo Marchesi (Saltrio 1790 - Milan 1858)
The Genius of Hunting c.1835
Pompeo Marchesi spent his formative years at the Accademia di Brera and went on to complete his training under the guiding hand of Antonio Canova in Rome. Returning to Milan in 1810, he embarked on a long and fertile career marked by success and by prestigious public and private commissions.
The Genie of the Hunt is portrayed as a young man standing, adopting a contrapposto pose accentuated by the inclination of his torso to the right. His head with its soft locks of hair also turns to the right, his gaze stretching beyond his shoulder to encompass an owl perched on a stand. Sporting a short, draped tunic, the Genie holds a bag with various implements associated with hunting. His right foot is crushing a serpent, while a small bird is trapped in a net on the ground. These details suggest that the sculpture is allegorical in nature. The statue strikes a superb balance between the canons of Neoclassicism harking back to Canova and a more contemporary attempt to convey sentiment and reality.