• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 11899

    Sculpture

    13 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 57

    A TERRACOTTA BUST OF A MAN

    CIRCLE OF BENEDETTO DA MAIANO, ITALIAN, LAST QUARTER 15TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A TERRACOTTA BUST OF A MAN
    CIRCLE OF BENEDETTO DA MAIANO, ITALIAN, LAST QUARTER 15TH CENTURY
    23 ¼ in. (59 cm.) high, 21 ¼ in. (54 cm.) wide


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    The Renaissance saw an explosion in the development of portraiture, part of a larger cultural phenomenon during which the arena for individual accomplishment expanded dramatically. The value of portraiture had been promoted through Leon Battista Alberti’s influential text on the treatise on painting. In Florence, the desire of powerful individuals to preserve their features for posterity, exemplified itself most readily in the sculpted portrait bust and Benedetto da Maiano became one of the city's most technically accomplished sculptors.
    The high realism of Benedetto’s portrait busts was a relatively recent phenomenon in Florentine art, and betrays the influence of his contemporary Antonio Rossellino. The present bust can be affiliated stylistically to Benedetto’s busts of both Fillippo Strozzi and Pietro Mellini (L. Dussler, Benedetto da Maiano: Ein Florentiner Bildhauer des späten Quattrocento, Munich, 1924, plates 28-29), and other known portrait busts emanating from his workshop (V&A, London, inv. no. 974-1875). Our bust is typical of Benedetto’s focus on the highly realistic human features of his sitters, using the malleable clay to emphasise the effects of time on the skin. The slightly drawn brow, rolls of the neck, and receding hairline of the present bust are very similar to the humanism of Benedetto’s known works (D. Carl, Benedetto da Maiano: ein Florentiner Bildhauer an der Schwelle zur Hochrenaissance, 2006, vol. 2, plates 5, 13, 70-80, 190). The artificial truncation of the bust, which ends on an integral narrow plinth, is not typical of Benedetto’s autograph works, and may indicate a slightly later hand, heavily influenced by the master, possibly originating from his workshop.

    Special Notice

    Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.


    Provenance

    Dr. Reber, Lugano, Switzerland.


    Post Lot Text

    The present lot is accompanied by a Thermoluminescence test from Oxford Authentication stating the samples were fired between 400 and 700 years ago.