The design of the present bust conforms to established representations of gentlemen in early 16th century Tuscany where the goal was verisimilitude. With the use of details such as wrinkles around the eyes, carefully modeled cheeks and stubble from his beard, an astonishing level of realism was achieved. The finished bust was polychromed to complete the effect of a living likeness and of an alert, confident and a self-posessed individual. The simple form of his tunic was prevalent in portraiture of this period and is also seen in two early 16th century terracotta busts: Ugolino Martelli in the Palazzo Martelli, Florence (Gentilini, op. cit, fig. 10) and Niccolò Machiavelli in the Accademia La Colombaria, Florence (Gentilini, op. cit, fig. 13). In the present portrait, as in the aforementioned examples, the body is fortified by the clothing, covering it in deep perpendicular folds which lead the viewer's eyes upward to the face.
G. Gentilini, “Il Beato Sorore di Santa Maria della Scala,” in La Scultura. Studi in Onore di Andrew S. Cienowiecki, vol. II, Milan, 1984, pp. 28 and 29, figs. 10-13
This bust is sold with a copy of a Thermoluminescence certificate, sample no. 364B, from Arcadia Technologie per I Beni Culturali in Milan, stating that the proposed date of the terracotta, late 15th century [or early 16th century], corresponds with the laboratory results.
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