View full screen - View 1 of Lot 55. Bust of Heraclitus.
55

Italian, 18th century

Bust of Heraclitus

UK: Greenford Park Warehouse

Estimate:

10,000 - 15,000 GBP

Italian, 18th century

Italian, 18th century

Bust of Heraclitus

Bust of Heraclitus

Estimate:

10,000 - 15,000 GBP

Lot sold:

17,640

GBP

Italian, 18th century

Bust of Heraclitus



marble

47 cm., 18½in.

Overall the condition of the marble is good, with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There are natural inclusions to the marble, including a series of inclusions to the nose. There is some orange brownish pigmentation to the bust in areas such as the back of the head. There are some small chips and abrasions, including to the tip of the nose and the edges of the bust. some small losses to the edges of the integral socle. 


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

This boldly carved bust represents Heraclitus, popularly known as the ‘weeping philosopher’. This sobriquet was made in contrast to Democritus, known as the ‘laughing philosopher’. He lived around 535 to 475 BC and wrote only one work, of which only fragments survive, which combined with his often unsubstantiated statements, earnt him a further moniker of ‘the Obscure’. His attraction to artists, both painters and sculptors, focuses on the opportunity he offered to depict a face in intense emotion, namely in tears. The sculptor of the present bust has skillfully captured Heraclitus’s agonised expression. One large tear falls from his right eye, but the real power of the expression is conveyed by his closely observed furrowed brow, his deeply set eyes and turbulent beard.


The present bust recalls a stunning terracotta bust of a bearded man by Augustin Pajou, dated 1768, and acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2003 (inv. no. 2003.25). The man’s full beard and alert expression, conveyed by every part of the physiognomy, might suggest a French sculptor for the present bust. However, the fluency of the carving and subtle polishing, as well as the more Baroque impression created by the deeply carved and drilled beard, are more indicative of Italian sculptors of the early 18th century. A clue to the origin of the work may rest in the unusual form of the integrally carved socle, a feature often associated with late 17th century sculpture, even more specifically with the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.