(Florence 1862-Rome 1940)
Strength (bronze sketch for Rome’s Palace of Justice competition)
Bronze on original wooden base, 56 (h) × 56.5 x 25 cm
Signed bottom right: “A. Zocchi”
Justice (bronze sketch for Rome’s Palace of Justice competition)
Bronze on original wooden base, 52 (h) × 56.2 × 24.5 cm
Signed bottom right: “ARNALDO ZOCCHI ARTEFICE”
Rome’s Palace of Justice, designed by Giuseppe Zanardelli, was the impressive lay symbol of the new national state of Italy set against the excessive size of St Peter’s, emblem of the papal regime. The competition for its sculptural decoration in 1898 stipulated “great size and robustness of shape,” in line with the gravitas of the building. Enrico Quattrini won the commission for the group destined for the entrance arch, with Justice flanked by Strength and Law. While the two unpublished bronze sketches by Arnaldo Zocchi, whose provenance is the artist’s heirs, witness the value of his participation in the competition.
At the time the Florentine artist was one of the protagonists of public sculpture, not only in Italy but also in South America and Bulgaria where his monuments are still famous today as symbols of national identity.