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Art Pick of the Week: Fisher-boy Dancing the Tarantella

July 8th, 2019

Francisque-Joseph Duret. Fisher-boy Dancing the Tarantella (Souvenir of Naples), 1833; cast before 1847. bronze, Overall (including base): 158 x 69 x 60 cm. Purchased with donations from AGO members and friends, 1990. © Art Gallery of Ontario 90/68

Have you visited Galleria Italia recently? Located on Level 2 here at the AGO, this beautiful space is inside the curved windows above Dundas Street West. On your next visit, take a walk beneath the soaring wood beams and you’ll find this week’s Art Pick – the playful Fisher-boy Dancing the Tarantella by Francisque-Joseph Duret.

A French sculptor of the Romantic period, Duret crafted classical figures that drew inspiration from both ancient Roman and Renaissance works. With toes pointed and snapping fingers raised gracefully overhead, the fisher-boy in this sculpture is midway through a traditional Italian folk dance called – you guessed it – the Tarantella. Known for its quick, flirtatious steps, the dance originated in the coastal village of Taranto, Italy and is often performed by couples.

The youthful figure and joyous movement of Fisher-boy Dancing the Tarantella drew praise when it was first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1833. Given its success, many editions of the sculpture were made – including the one on display here at the AGO.

Stop by Galleria Italia and enjoy the whimsical movement of Fisher-boy Dancing the Tarantella in person. While you’re there, enjoy a coffee at the Espresso Bar and take in the city views (and perfect selfie lighting).

Admission to the AGO Collection and all special exhibitions is always free for AGO MembersAGO Annual Pass holders and visitors 25 and under. For more information, please visit the website.

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