Selika et Nelusko

Luigi Pagani 

Selika et Nelusko
Pair of busts in white marble, the heads are in patinated bronze
signed, dated and situed "Pagani Luigi fece 1871 Milano"
Dimensions : 
97,8 x 87,6 cm / 38.19 x 34.25 inch
Exhibition : 

Exhibition in Brera 1871
Royal Academy, London, 1872, nos. 1509 (Nelusko) and 1510 (Selika)

Description of the artwork

Combining white marble with patinated bronze, the busts represent Nelusko and Selika, protagonists of L’Africaine, an opera by the German composer Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) and French writer Eugène Scribe (1791-1861). Very popular in the decades following its first performance in Paris in 1865, the opera is an account of the capture of Nelusko and Selika, sovereigns of an imaginary far-off land, by the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama.
Meyerbeer’s work enjoyed such popularity that the Italian sculptor Pietro Calvi (1833-1884) also showed a bust of Selika at the same Royal Academy exhibition (no. 1525).


Peter Glenville and Hardy William Smith Collection


The Exhibition of the Royal Academy, 1872, The 104th., 1872, p. 60.
Vincenzo Vicario, Gli Scultori Italiani dal Neoclassicismo al Liberty, Lodi, 1990, pp. 474-5.
A. Panzetta, Nuovo dizionario degli scultori italiani dell’octticento e del primo novecento, Turin, 2003, p. 674.

Available artworks

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75008 Paris, France
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