Provenance, from the French provenir (“to come from”), means the origin or the source of something, or the history of the ownership or location of an object.  The term was originally mostly used for works of art.  In most fields, the primary purpose of provenance is to confirm or gather evidence as to the time, place, and — when appropriate — the person responsible for the creation, production, or discovery of the object.  This will typically be accomplished by tracing the whole history of the object up to the present.  Comparative techniques, expert opinions, and the results of various kinds of scientific tests may also be used to these ends, but establishing provenance is essentially a matter of documentation.

Each of the sculptures in The Michelangelo Experience Tour will be produced by the Fonderia Ferdinando Marinelli in Florence, Italy, exclusively for distribution by The Michelangelo Experience, Inc.

The provenance for each sculpture is prepared by Dr. John T. Spike, our lead art historian.

The following are the opening and closing statements by Dr. Spike in his provenance on the bronze Michelangelo Pieta:

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

(Florence 1475 – 1564 Rome)


Bronze, brown patina

Height x width: 65 x 76.75 inches


Edition: No. 4 of an edition of 12 bronzes cast in 1982.   The original plaster prototype is a precise cast of Michelangelo’s original marble statue in St. Peter’s, Rome.   The prototype was made in 1932 by the Fonderia Marinelli with the authorization of the Vatican.

I have personally inspected this bronze cast of the Pieta on the premises of the famous Fonderia Marinelli in Florence.  I am pleased to confirm that it represents the highest quality casting and finishing of art bronzes that exists in the world.  The Marinelli plaster prototype, which was made from the pristine marble original in 1932, is unique.

John T Spike

Florence, Italy

The Marinelli Foundry

The Marinelli Foundry, which casts these sculptures, has built a reputation in Italy’s museum community such that most of the foundry work requested by the museums in Florence is contracted by Marinelli.  They continue a century-old tradition for upholding the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship while faithfully honoring the original artistic intentions of the masters.  In the early 1900’s Marinelli Sr. began making plaster molds directly from masterpieces by Michelangelo, Donatello, Bernini, Cellini, Verrocchio, and others.

This project marks the first in history for original limited edition of bronze sculptures to be cast from these original masterpieces.  Each bronze is a precise work of craftsmanship which can take more than one year — from casting to surface finishing — to complete.

Copyright © 2011 The Michelangelo Experience, Inc. All rights reserved.