Giacomo Manzù - Grande Passo di danza - image-1

Lot 294 R

Giacomo Manzù - Grande Passo di danza

Auction 1134 - overview Cologne
31.05.2019, 17:00 - Modern Art
Estimate: 80.000 € - 120.000 €
Result: 111.600 € (incl. premium)

Giacomo Manzù

Grande Passo di danza

Bronze Height 201.5 cm The oval cast stamp "MANZÙ FONDERIA MAF MILANO" on the back of the convex arched, cast-with plinth (height 14.5 cm). Unique cast. - Dark brown patina, partially lightened.

Giacomo Manzù had already occupied himself with the theme of the dance in 1940, when he was commissioned by Baroness Blanc to create a portrait of her daughter in Rome. There he created a first series of drawings of the girl as a dancer. In the early 1950s the artist returned to the theme once more. In the “Tanzschritte” and “Tänzerinnen”, an open series of bronze sculptures (see Rewald, op. cit. fig. 77-88 etc.), he worked his way through numerous variations of the motif of a nude female dancer standing on her toes. In 1953 Manzù became head of the sculpture course at the International Summer Academy in Salzburg and continued to work on his own pieces alongside his duties as a teacher. Searching for a model he met a young dancer from Munich named Inge, in whom he found a muse. “Once again he stood before someone who embodied precisely that which he wished to give form and express. While he had already been occupied with the theme of the 'Tanzschritte' for several years, he had initially simply created upright nudes, which were shortly thereafter followed by several dancers standing on the tips of their toes. In his own words, he now discovered the 'infinite possibilities' of this subject in Inge. In the seclusion of his little private studio, he soon began to work on the statue of a dancer based on Inge, and convinced her to remain his model after the end of the summer academy. […] Neither tall nor of the peculiar, almost fragile delicacy that characterises so many dancers, Inge united radiant health with the special elegance that the study of classical dance lends to all bodies. […] Even more strongly than had been the case among earlier similar experiences, Inge almost entirely dominated Manzù's work from that point on.” (Rewald, op. cit., p. 64 and p. 67).
The life-sized bronze presented here was presumably also inspired by the physiognomy of this important model. While many of his dancers hold a piece of cloth in their hands or play with a length of their long hair, here Manzù has entirely renounced any attributes or poses. The unusual solution of placing the points of the toes on a plinth formed by the arch of a half cylinder resting on the ground underscores the tension of the dancer's body and conveys a sense of extraordinary lightness.


With a photo-certificate from Giulia Manzoni, Fondazione Giacomo Manzù, Ardea, dated 29 April 2019.
The work is registered in the archive of the Fondazione Giacomo Manzù under the number 8/2019.


Corporate Collection, Rhineland


John Rewald, Giacomo Manzù, Salzburg 1966, cf. cat. no. 141 with illus. ("Tänzerin (Detail), 1957, bronze, height 220 cm, Mayer Coll., New York") und cat. no. 100 and 101 with illus. ("Tanzschritt, 1956, bronze, height 220 cm, Morandi Coll., Milan")