“Of all my art work I’ve ever done, I’d most like to sign my name on these.” – Bill Zacha
William Zacha’s bronzetti, small bronze figures from 7” to 14” high, are true hot cast bronze, modeled in wax, between 1973 and 1982 in Mendocino and Rome, then cast using the lost wax method. The earliest bronzetti are solid cast; later figures are hollow cast. None are cold cast (bronze resin).
Many of the Zacha bronzetti are editions of one; with a couple of exceptions, no more than three were cast of any one figure. Most are signed or initialed.
When two or three castings have been made of a Zacha sculpture, the resulting figures are not identical. Subtle differences in dimensions and pose, and differences in William Zacha’s signatures and other notations, indicate the use of separate moulds and make each piece unique.
Zacha’s small bronze nudes are closely observed portraits, capturing the unique bodies and spirits of his models. Zacha studied sculpture with Octavio Medallin, and with Ruth Cravath, but his strong composition in the round, and the honesty and vitality of his bronzetti, have less in common with the work of those early mentors than with the bronzes of Rodin.
Patroclus I and Patroclus II strongly resemble each other, but are distinctly different. For example, while both figures are running, Patroclus I takes a short stride on a square base, with hips over the center of the base, while Patroclus II takes a longer stride onto the end of a rectangular base. Also, the breadth and modeling of the figures’ chests are not identical, and the clarity of the identification engraved on Patroclus II (ZACHA ’77 ROMA) contrasts with Zacha’s more obscure identification marks on Patroclus I.
While Orion I and Orion II resemble each other in pose, the positions of the heads, and facial expressions, are each unique.
Endymion is used here as an example of the difficulty in relying on photographs (and, in some cases, photographers) to provide accurate records of color.
A professional photographer, hired by the Zacha family to provide straightforward documentation of the individual bronzetti, chose instead to “interpret” all the Zacha bronzetti in a dramatic golden bronze.
The intermediate color is a Zacha technician’s attempt to color correct the works for hire, to more closely resemble the original work, which is reported as “dark chocolate brown.” Gartha German’s photo shows the darkest patina.
The other Zacha bronzetti have a variety of patinas, few of which of which are perfectly represented in photographs.
BEHOLD THE SEA
– In individual descriptions, “left” and “right” refer to the figure’s left or right, not the viewer’s.
– Due to the limitations of reproduction, the images here do not represent exact color.The patinas of the individual bronzes range from warm beige through browns and blacks; many of the bronzes are darker than pictured.