A WHITE MARBLE PROFILE RELIEF PROBABLY OF FAUSTINA THE ELDER
A WHITE MARBLE PROFILE RELIEF PROBABLY OF FAUSTINA THE ELDER
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PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION
A WHITE MARBLE PROFILE RELIEF PROBABLY OF FAUSTINA THE ELDER

ATTRIBUTED TO SIMONE BIANCO (ITALIAN, ACTIVE 1512-1553), CIRCA 1520-1540

Details
A WHITE MARBLE PROFILE RELIEF PROBABLY OF FAUSTINA THE ELDER
ATTRIBUTED TO SIMONE BIANCO (ITALIAN, ACTIVE 1512-1553), CIRCA 1520-1540
8 ¾ in. (22 cm.) high, the relief; 11 ½ x 9 in. (29.2 x 22.9 cm.) the frame
Provenance
Henny Otto Goldschmidt (1920-2009), Eindhoven, Belgium.
His sale, Sotheby's, London, 9 July 2015, lot 73.
Literature
RELATED LITERATURE:
P. Meller, ‘Marmi e bronzi di Simone Bianco,’ Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorisches Institutes in Florenz 21, no. 2, 1977, pp. 199-210.
Ed. U. Thieme and F. Becker, Allgemeines Lexicon der Bildenden Künstler, Munich, 1992, vol. 3, p. 592.

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Lot Essay

In an era obsessed with perfection, the ideal form and revival of the antique, this rendering, almost certainly of Faustina the Elder, wife of Emporer Antoninus Pius in circa 110 A.D., is derived from one of her official portraits meant to symbolize female virtue. The modeling of the chin and coiffure of wavy locks drawn to the nape of the neck with braided hair coiled above typify representations of Faustina I, the Roman Empress who was posthumously deified.

Notice the strong similarity on this marble relief in the hair style and modeling of the chin and neck with the Aureus of Faustina the Elder (fig.1). Sculptors of the time were seeking to modernize and embellish a representations from antiquity such as this to evoke the past. The Florentine sculptor chose an incredibly popular format in 16th century Venice, a simple head or bust. As with many of his contemporaries, Bianco may have spent much of his career restoring and reworking ancient statuary for a more lively appearance and his expertise with modeling a portrait subject is deftly on display here.

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