c. 1750: Agostino Fasolato and The Fall of the Rebel Angels

Some people do not "deserve" their own Wikipedia page, and some Works of Art are better to be left unnoticed. One of these people is Agostino Fasolato, and one of these Works of Art is "The Fall of the Rebel Angels". The lack of info on the guy and his statue could have a plausible explanation, but as you know, I am not a big supporter of those. At some point, the critical mass of plausible explanations starts to outweigh the allotted amount of common sense.

Agostino Fasolato
Did this artist even exist? There is some circumstantial evidence that he did. My web search did not produce much. Apparently, we could have two artists with the same name. According to the Italian Wikipage:
  • The Fasolos were a family of sculptors active in Padua between the 17th and 18th centuries. The surname often appears in the writings related to the local stone-cutting brotherhood, but the relationships between the different members are not always clear.
  • Two sculptors with this name, active in the same years, are recorded in the Fraglia padovana of the stonecutters and, following the biography of Napoleone Pietrucci, the author of the sculpture should be identified with the Agostino son of Vincenzo and Orazia Piesti, born in Padua on 27 June 1714 and still alive in 1787. There is no certainty of the identity of this artist with the Augustine which other documents assign carving works for the churches of the Paduan territory: in 1752 for the choir of the Basilica del Santo, in 1755 and in 1760-61 for the altars of the Cathedral of Montagnana.
It appears that the bio info for Agostino(s) Fasolato simply does not exist. I turned to Google Ngram to see what this wonderful tool had to offer. It substantiated the name, and the sculpture. It also provided some information on how long it took Agostino Fasolato to complete the statue. What Google Ngram did not help out with, would be the sources of the available information.

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1856 book

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1868 Book

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1839 Book
Essentially, we do have enough confirmations of the below statue existing in the first half of the 19th century. Some people either did not know how to count, or we had two various statues at some point. I have hard time understanding how 60 could be counted as 66. Anyways, here is the statue itself.

The Fall of the Rebel Angels
The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Agostino Fasolato is a sculpture from the eighteenth-century. It consists of a pyramid of sixty human figures obtained from a unique marble block of Carrara. On the top there is the Archangel Gabriel that, according to the religious tradition, was one of the advocate of the expulsion of the rebel angels from paradise and their fall down to hell.
  • Location: Palazzo Leoni Montanari in Vicenza
  • Material: A single slab of Carrara marble
  • Size: 168 x 80 x 81 cm = 5.51 x 2.62 x 2.65 ft
  • The statue is an intricate composition of bodies that seems to recreate the shape of the infernal flames. The fallen angels are, indeed, shown in the moment of their permutation into demons. This sophisticated opera shows a great technical virtuosity of the author. It’s interesting especially because it’s extremely different and original compared to the other sculptures of the same period.
  • The oldest indication of the work is owed to Giovan Battista Rossetti who, in his Description of the paintings, sculptures, and architecture of Padua in 1765, pointed it out among the major attractions of the city: the visitor did not have to fail to admire the fall of the rebel angels of "Agostin Fasolato Scultor Padovano ... work to say the least wonderful, not tempted or even from ancient Greece".
  • The group "extracted from a piece of Carrara marble of sixty pyramid figures" was conserved at the time in the palace of the Counts Trento, located in one of the reception rooms frescoed by a disciple and collaborator of Giambattista Tiepolo, Francesco Zugno. According to sources, the marble was commissioned by Count Marc'Antonio Trento (1704-1785), bailiffs of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta as well as a member of various Paduan academies.
  • 3D scanning Artwork: “The Fall of the Rebel Angels”
  • The fall of the rebel angels of Agostino Fasolato
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Video


KD: I think we have another example where some unknown ancient technology is being presented as some outstanding skill and/or talent of the artist. I do not believe a statue like the one above could, or can be chisel-hammered.
 
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