Bust of a child thumbnail 1
Bust of a child thumbnail 2
+3
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Cast Courts, Room 46b, The Weston Cast Court

Bust of a child

Plaster Cast
1455-1460 (sculpted), ca. 1895 (cast)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is a plaster cast of a marble original portrait bust of a child probably by Desiderio da Settignano, made in about 1455-1460 in Florence (Italy).

The bust was purchased in Italy in 1848 by Eugene Piot and passed through the collections of Paul van Cuyck, Charles Timbal and Gustave Dreyfus, before entering the National Gallery of Art with the Andrew Mellon Collection. Traditionally ascribed to Donatello (1386-1466), the attribution to Desiderio, first suggested by Perkins in 1869, is now generally accepted. The bust is dated to 1455-60 because of stylistic analogies with the putti on Desiderio's Marsuppini tomb of c. 1453-60 in S. Croce, Florence (of which a cast, museum no. 1891-129, is in the V&A's collections), and with the Blessing Christ Child of S. Lorenzo Tabernacle of 1461.

Desiderio da Settignano, (Desiderio de Bartolomeo di Francesco detto Ferro (c. 1428 or 1430 – 1464) was an Italian sculptor active during the Renaissance.
He came from a family of stone carvers and stonemasons. His work is influenced by Donatello, but very likley he was trained in the large Florentine workshop run by Bernardo and Antonio Rossellino.

Plaster casts were especially sought after during the 19th century, when reproductions of great works of sculpture and architecture were thought crucial for the training of artists. A separating substance was applied to the surface of the work to be reproduced, and a plaster mould made from that. The mould would then be used to make any number of additional plaster copies. These were often sold to artists, and later in the century to art colleges for study purposes.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Plaster cast painted
Brief Description
Plaster cast, painted plaster, of an original marble bust of a child, in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA, by Desiderio da Settignano, Italy (Florence), ca. 1455-60, cast probably in France (Paris), ca. 1895
Physical Description
Portrait bust of a child.
Dimensions
  • Height: 27cm
  • Width: 26cm
  • Depth: 15.5cm
Gallery Label
The portrait of an unknown child is remarkable for the naturalistic face and curls of hair. The boy’s melancholy gaze gives the bust a haunting quality. Many of the sculptures now attributed to Desiderio were once thought to be by his famous contemporary, the Renaissance master Donatello. This may explain why the Museum’s collection includes many casts of Desiderio’s work.(2014)
Credit line
Given by Gustave Dreyfus
Object history
Given by Gustave Dreyfus in 1895.
Historical context
This bust was purchased in Italy in 1848 by Eugene Piot and passed through the collections of Paul van Cuyck, Charles Timbal and Gustave Dreyfus, before entering the National Gallery of Art with the Andrew Mellon Collection. Traditionally ascribed to Donatello (1386-1466), the attribution to Desiderio, first suggested by Perkins in 1869, is now generally accepted. The bust is dated to 1455-60 because of stylistic analogies with the putti on Desiderio's Marsuppini tomb of c.1453-60 in S. Croce, Florence (of which a cast, museum no. 1891-129, is in the V&A's collections), and with the Blessing Christ Child of S. Lorenzo Tabernacle of 1461.
Subject depicted
Summary
This is a plaster cast of a marble original portrait bust of a child probably by Desiderio da Settignano, made in about 1455-1460 in Florence (Italy).



The bust was purchased in Italy in 1848 by Eugene Piot and passed through the collections of Paul van Cuyck, Charles Timbal and Gustave Dreyfus, before entering the National Gallery of Art with the Andrew Mellon Collection. Traditionally ascribed to Donatello (1386-1466), the attribution to Desiderio, first suggested by Perkins in 1869, is now generally accepted. The bust is dated to 1455-60 because of stylistic analogies with the putti on Desiderio's Marsuppini tomb of c. 1453-60 in S. Croce, Florence (of which a cast, museum no. 1891-129, is in the V&A's collections), and with the Blessing Christ Child of S. Lorenzo Tabernacle of 1461.



Desiderio da Settignano, (Desiderio de Bartolomeo di Francesco detto Ferro (c. 1428 or 1430 – 1464) was an Italian sculptor active during the Renaissance.

He came from a family of stone carvers and stonemasons. His work is influenced by Donatello, but very likley he was trained in the large Florentine workshop run by Bernardo and Antonio Rossellino.



Plaster casts were especially sought after during the 19th century, when reproductions of great works of sculpture and architecture were thought crucial for the training of artists. A separating substance was applied to the surface of the work to be reproduced, and a plaster mould made from that. The mould would then be used to make any number of additional plaster copies. These were often sold to artists, and later in the century to art colleges for study purposes.
Collection
Accession Number
REPRO.1895-103

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdSeptember 15, 2006
Record URL