This remarkable, expressive, head of Christ, with furrowed brow, opened mouth and intense stare, is imbued with profound pathos. Stylistically it relates to North Italian sculpture from the early 16th century, specifically works by the Milanese-born sculptor Cristoforo Solari, known as il Gobbo (circa 1468/70-1524). The thick locks of hair which trail down the broad neck recall Solari's monumental figures of Adam
) both in the Museo del Duomo in Milan. Solari produced several works with bearded men with similarly broad faces and expressive features, note also the head of a Roman Emperor from his Saint Catherine of Alexandria
in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (inv. no. 2012.328). The thick hair with prominently delineated locks and open mouthed facial expression may also owe a debt to Tullio Lombardo (circa 1455-1532), who was principally active in Venice and was heavily influence by Roman portrait sculpture. Compare the expression of the present figure with those of the attendants from Tullio's relief with the Miracle of the Miser's Heart
in the Santo, Padua, circa 1520-1525. The subtle cloth border around the present figure's chemise is particularly delicately carved.
A. Markham Schulz, 'Cristoforo Solari at Venice: Facts and Suppositions, Prospettiva, Iiii-Ivi, 1988-1989, pp. 309-316; A. Luchs, 'Two Hercules Sculptures by Cristoforo Solari', Burlington Magazine, cxxxix, December, 2007, pp. 844-846; M. Ceriana, 'Tullio Lombardo, Sculptor and Architecto', in A. Luchs, Tullio Lombardo and Venetian High Renaissance Sculpture, National Gallery of Art, Washington, New Haven and London, 2009, pp. 34-35, fig. 8; A. E. Werdehausen, et al. "Solari (i)." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press, accessed March 21, 2017, http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T079583pg5.