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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Tommaso Rues (also Ruer, Ruez) (1636–1703)

Tommaso Rues was born in Brunico (or Bruneck) in the Italian province of South Tyrol. He trained in Venice, 1650–58, with the Bavarian stonecarver Giovanni Hach and later ran his own workshop in the San Giovanni Crisostomo district of Venice. A strong influence on his work was the Venice-based Flemish sculptor, Josse de Corte. Rues’s main works in Venice are: for Santa Maria della Salute, the Four Evangelists flanking the main entrance and a host of angels and several biblical heroines crowning the tympanum (1670s–early ’80s); for Il Redentore, figures of St. Mark and St. Francis for the façade (1678) and relief panels of Christ carrying the Cross and The Deposition for the high altar (1682); for the chapel of San Giovanni della Croce in Santa Maria di Nazareth (Church of the Scalzi), The Theological Virtues (1683); for the high altar of San Pantalon, St. Peter, St. John the Evangelist, St. Juliana and St. Paul; and for balustrade of the Porta di Terra at the Arsenal, figures of Vigilance and Abundance. Maichol Clemente has recently attributed to Rues on stylistic grounds, two marble busts, Diana and Minerva, at Waddesdon Manor, Bucks. Rues also executed the greater part of the sculpture on the Lady Altar, originally made for the church of San Domenico, Brescia, in 1693, since 1883 in Brompton Oratory, Kensington.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 127–28; M. Clemente, ‘Tommaso Rues: contributo al catalogo’, Zbornik za umetnostno zgodovino (Nova vrsta), 49, 2013; M. Clemente, Tommaso Rues 1636-1703: A German Sculptor in Baroque Venice, Florence, 2016.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022