Aetas Aurea depicts a portrait of the artist’s wife, Giuditta Pozzi, and his son Francesco, born in November 1885. Thus critics almost unanimously date the first example of the work to 1886. In all probability it was sculpted on his return from his journey to Paris, where Rosso stayed from May until October 1886, exhibiting at the Salon and at the Salon des Indépendants. On that occasion he had already released works including The Flesh of Others (1883-1884), The Concierge (1883-1884) and Impression of an Omnibus (1884-1885), which reveal a new exploration of plastic form. With wax, Rosso suffuses the subject with atmosphere, grasping a moment of existence rendered through a fluid and instable form, dematerialised by light. The subject and structure of Aetas Aurea recall that of Maternal Love (1883-1886), even though – as Luciano Caramel notes – “the diagonal configuration, already used in previous works” is here “decidedly accentuated in the structure, with its unusual angle”. In accordance with his own working method, consisting of a return to the same subject, even twenty years after the first example, Rosso revised Aetas Aurea in several versions, sculpted in plaster, wax and bronze. Rosso himself took care of the set-up, even making changes to his own sculptures to exhibit them from the right perspective. With Aetas Aurea he made adjustments to the back so that the work leaned forward slightly.


  • Title: Aetas aurea
  • Creator: Medardo Rosso
  • Date: [1904] - [1908]
  • Physical Dimensions: w45 x h45 x d34 cm
  • Date of acquisition: 1914
  • Acquisition: Donated by Etha Fles
  • Provenance: GAM - Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin
  • Type: Sculptures
  • Rights: All rights reserved, GAM - Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin
  • Medium: Wax on plaster

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