The bronze Birichino comes down from the Mascheretti collection in Ber-gamo (ante 1993); it was authenticated in April 2016 by Paola Mola, the Medardo specialist, and, as she writes, “with its studiedly careless wealth of shapes on the face and on the beret, and especially the form of the ears, eyes and mouth”, it is undoubtedly an original Rosso bronze. e modelling of the work is unmistakable: “rough and unprettied”, as only his authentic pieces can be. “Again, the way the head is fastened to the base corresponds with Medardo’s working practice, with a bent strap and bolt, as does the addition of the round iron rod supporting the bronze”. Remarkable above all is “how the foundry sand is kept in some places, enriching the surface texture with lighter or variegated patches, as well as heightening the roughness of the material. This touch is absent from the many subsequent copies which are as slippery as soap”. That residue of fireclay not only provides this bronze with a certificate of authenticity, but forms its most unusual trait. In many other originals by Medardo ill-advised cleaning has removed this, thereby impairing the highly original texture, colour and chiaroscuro effects. These features, thinks Paola Mola, would place the date of casting to about the period 1884-1888, that is before Rosso moved to Paris.
Authenticated by Paola Mola
Expertise by Andrea Bacchi