Florentine busts of Christ are often inspired by Andrea Verrocchio’s Christ and St. Thomas for Orsanmichele (1466-1483), where Christ's heavily curled hair falls onto His shoulders. The present bust has some affinities with the Florentine sculptor Agnolo di Polo’s (ca.1470-1528) terracotta bust of St John the Baptist in the Detroit Institute of Art. Di Polo trained with Verrocchio but his treatment is generally much simpler and is closer to the present bust of Christ. Although the Detroit bust gives some sense of drama in the handling of the mouth, the present bust of Christ conveys a greater sense of emotion. The closest parallels for this are to be found in the work of Paduan sculptors around 1500. For example, the heads of St James and St Philip from the altar of San Nicola da Tolentio in the Chiesa degli Eremitani, Padua, attributed to Domenico Boccalaro, have a comparable pathos of expression.
Darr, p.127-129, no.62 and pp.175-177, no.87; Gentilini, pp.29-46, figs.47-101
A test for thermoluminescence (sold with this lot) was conducted by Oxford Authentication (sample no. N106m18) and yielded a bracket dating between 300 and 600 years before the date of testing.
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