Sculpture, Arithmetic and Architecture

WAG 6597


The figures around the base, holding hammers, chisels and set-squares, represent sculptors, architects and mathematicians in the act of carving and chiselling various busts and the monument above them. The equestrian monument shows a centaur, half-man, half-horse, holding aloft a female figure possibly personifying Sculpture. She in turn crowns a sculptress with a wreath of fame whilst the centaur holds out the circular motif of a snake biting its tail, perhaps symbolising the eternal power of sculpture. The design blurs the line between the living sculptors and the art which they are creating. Bertos specialised in complex, intertwined and pyramidal groups of seemingly weightless figures, which were sometimes designed to act as table centrepieces and meant to be viewed from all sides. His work was particularly popular with ‘Tourists’ visiting Rome and Venice.