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25 June 2019 | 10:30am

Fine Sculpture, Early Works of Art and Garden Ornament

Lot 24

An Italian sculpted terracotta half-length bust

Estimate £6000 - £8000 + fees

An Italian sculpted terracotta half-length bust, Ecce Homo, Lombardy, late 16th /early 17th century and later, in the manner of earlier Lombard work, Christ's head turned to dexter beneath the Crown of Thorns, His hair falling down either side of His anguished face, His hands crossed and tethered at the wrists before Him

64cm high, 45cm wide



Private Collection, Florence; after which Salander O'Reilly Gallery, New York; whence purchased by the current private New York vendor


Salander O'Reilly Gallery, Mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque Sculpture, 2005


The original exhibition notes from 2005 discuss the context in which this bust was produced:

The emergence of naturalism in Renaissance painting and sculpture was closely linked to the late mediaeval religious practices that encouraged the personal identification of the worshipper with the experiences of Biblical figures. For example in the Meditations on the Life of Christ, a famous fourteenth century devotional text, as Christ is condemned by Pilate before the mob, the narrator implores the reader to contemplate Christ's physical anguish: "to make yourself more deeply compassionate and nourish yourself at the same time, turn your eyes away from His divinity for a little while and consider Him purely as a man. You will see a fine youth, most noble and most innocent and most lovable, cruelly beaten and covered with blood and wounds." The hyper-realism of this sculpture exemplifies the artistic response to demand for images that could stimulate powerful, visceral emotions