Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Matilda of Canossa, priced $2m at Simon Dickinson.

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After 30 years as a fine art gallery in Old Master and Impressionist paintings, Simon C Dickinson is expanding into the field of Old Master sculpture with its first-ever exhibition devoted to Renaissance sculpture.

The show in Jermyn Street, St James’s, runs from June 17 to July 18. It will include several re-discovered masterpieces including Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s bronze Matilda of Canossa (c.1633), one of the last remaining casts of this bronze left in private hands, which is being offered with an asking price of $2m.

Other highlights of the exhibition include Luca della Robbia’s Portrait of a Youth, c.1435-40. Defined as one of the fathers of Renaissance art, Luca della Robbia was among the protagonists of the rebirth of terracotta sculpture, and Dickinson says Portrait of a Youth is “an extraordinary survival, that offers international collectors with a chance to own one of the last works by the artist outside of museum ownership”.

The most valuable work in the exhibition is Massimiliano Soldani Benzi’s Pieta, c.1708, which is being offered for $2.5m.


Detail of Massimiliano Soldani Benzi’s Pieta, priced $2.5m at Dickinson.

Dickinson says: “The Pietà is without a doubt one of the most beloved subjects of Massimiliano Soldani Benzi as it exemplifies the thematic profoundness of Florentine plastic arts between the 17th and 18th centuries.”

Taking steps

Simon Dickinson, chairman, founded the company in 1993.

He says: “At the time when there are fewer galleries dealing in this field than ever before and the auction houses seem to be taking a step back, we have decided to take a step forward. It was only natural that when my son Milo Dickinson joined Dickinson as our new managing director last year that he wished to introduce more sculpture to the gallery. Milo had run the Old Master Sculpture sales at Christie’s for many years and has deep expertise and experience in this field.”

Prices in the exhibiiton range from $200,000 to $2.5m. Some of the works are “important re-discoveries backed by leading scholars in the field of Renaissance sculpture”.