FOLLOWER OF DESIDERIO DA SETTIGNANO (CIRCA 1429-1464), ITALIAN, FLORENCE, SECOND HALF 15TH CENTURY | BUST OF A BOY, POSSIBLY THE INFANT CHRIST
Estimate: 25,000 - 35,000 GBP
FOLLOWER OF DESIDERIO DA SETTIGNANO (CIRCA 1429-1464)
ITALIAN, FLORENCE, SECOND HALF 15TH CENTURY
BUST OF A BOY, POSSIBLY THE INFANT CHRIST
Overall the condition of the bust is very good, with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is some veining to the marble, consistent with the material, including some slightly dark veins to the forehead, to the proper left arm, to the chest and to the top of the head. There are a few minor naturally occurring inclusions, including to the drapery at the front of the truncation and to the hair at the proper right temple and at the back. There are a few minor abrasions and some dirt to the back of the bust. There are a few minor chips to the edge of the truncation, in particular to the back.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
This fine bust reflects the advice of the Blessed Giovanni Dominici to Florentine parents that they display representations of child saints in their homes, to provide their children with pious role models (see Paolozzi Strozzi, op. cit., p. 119). It relates closely to two marble busts by Desiderio da Settignano in the National Gallery of Art, Washington; one from the Samuel H. Kress Collection (inv. no. 1943.4.94), and the other from the Andrew W. Mellon Collection (inv. no. 1937.1.113), which are sometimes thought to represent the Infant Christ. Compare the downcast gaze, plump cheeks and almond-shaped eyes of the Kress bust, and the delicate hairstyle of the Mellon bust, with a prominent strand tucked behind the right ear. Further comparable busts of the Infant Christ and Saint John were sculpted by Desiderio's contemporaries, Antonio Rossellino and Mino da Fiesole (see Paolozzi Strozzi, op. cit., pp. 125-126). The author of the present marble was undoubtedly familiar with the work of these Florentine masters.
M. Bormand et al (eds.), Desiderio da Settignano: Sculpteur de la Renaissance Florentine, exh. cat. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2006, nos. 10 and 11; B. Paolozzi Strozzi and M. Bormand (eds.), The Springtime of the Renaissance: Sculpture and the Arts in Florence 1400-60, exh. cat. Paolozzi Strozzi, Florence and Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2013, pp. 119-129