This is a rare 18th century bust of a Roman warrior. Made with three different marbles in Italy. The harness he wears conforms to the canonical Roman muscled type, featuring an anatomically cuirass with broad shoulder straps and lion mask pauldrons. Lion head pauldrons were a feature of armor since the 14th century and are often found on armor by the renowned Bartolomeo Campi of Milan. The decorative motifs on the breast are attributed to the Medici family of Florence and are found on a bust displayed in the famed Palazzo Vecchio in Florence (second picture). Ours is the only other such bust we have found, making it a very rare and collectible item. The head with its powerful physical likeness and expressive eyes is representative of late Roman portrait sculpture dating as early as the third century. Particular note is given to the finely carved hair with deep curls, exemplifying the attention and skill of the sculptor. Elaborate parade armor of this type were created in Florence, as elsewhere in Italy, in the 15th century for use in jousts and tournaments, civic and religious spectacles. One of the great attractions of Florence, drawing over half a million visitors yearly, is Palazzo Vecchio, the 6th century building forming the nucleus of the famed Empire of Lorenzo de Medici. Duke Cosimo I, appointed by his Excellency in 1545, was charged with the task of glorifying the stature of the Medici family and then-existing Pope Leo X. Cosimo's primary project was restoring, expanding and "lifting the spirit" of the Palazzo Vecchio beyond compare. Georgio Varsari and artists of his circle richly decorated the Palazzo with fresco, panel paintings and stucco.
Height: 37.5" x Width: 30" x Depth: 15"
Great original vintage condition with age appropriate patina. Wear consistent with age and use.
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