This beautifully carved late Baroque portrait of the 16th-century Pope Gregory XIII (who was responsible for the Gregorian Calendar) was almost certainly executed around the time of the creation of his posthumous monument for St Peters in Rome by Camillo Rusconi, between 1715 and 1723. The obvious candidate for the attribution of the present bust is the Milanese sculptor Carlo Francesco Mellone (Meloni) who was responsible for carving the bas-relief showing Gregory XIII reforming the calendar (probably to Rusconi's designs) on the fictive funerary urn below the sepulchral statue, and for which he was paid 108 scudi on 12 March 1718. Aside from the obvious portrait similarity between the present bust and the relief, the treatment of the beard and execution of the details and drapery are close. The present bust is preserved in excellent condition.
R. Enggass, Early Eighteenth-Century Sculpture in Rome, University Park and London, 1976, pp. 102-103, figs 67-68; G. Ferrari and S. Papaldo, Le sculture del Seicento a Roma, Rome, 1999, p. 110