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Bust - A Member of the Capponi family

A Member of the Capponi family

  • Object:

    Bust

  • Place of origin:

    Florence (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1500 (carved)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Terracotta

  • Museum number:

    7588-1861

  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 64, The Wolfson Gallery, case WN, shelf ABOVE

The man might be Niccolò di Giovanni Capponi (1416–91), a leading figure in the Florentine government and army. His descendents were said to have displayed the bust in their library, along with other family portrait busts. It is based on a death mask, made by laying plaster over the face of the deceased to create a mould.

The sitter wears a cappuccio, an elaborate headdress that was commonly worn by Florentines in the 15th century. The possible man represented in the bust, Niccolo di Giovanni Capponi (1416-91) was gonfaloniere di giustizia (magistrate and captain of troops responsible for city magistrates' defence) in 1464.

Physical description

Bust of a member of the Capponi family, terracotta. The bust, which is cut off above the elbows and through the chest, shows a clean-shaven old man. He wears a high-necked gown and a chaperon with lappets. He is a member of the Capponi family.

Place of Origin

Florence (made)

Date

ca. 1500 (carved)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Terracotta

Dimensions

Height: 53 cm, Width: 53 cm, Depth: 30.5 cm

Object history note

When in the Gigli-Campana collection, from which it was purchased, the bust was regarded as a member of the Capponi family, because it had been one of a number of ancestor busts decorating the library of the Capponi house near San Frediano. The bust is a characteristic example of a portrait cast from a death mask. The sitter wears a cappuccio, an elaborate headdress that was commonly worn by Florentines in the 15th century. The bust may represent Niccolo di Giovanni Capponi (1416-91), who was gonfaloniere di giustizia (magistrate and captain of troops responsible for city magistrates' defence) in 1464.

Descriptive line

Bust of a member of the Capponi family, terracotta, Italy (Florence), ca. 1500

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1861 In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 3
Schuyler, Jane. Florentine Busts: Sculpted Portraiture in the Fifteenth Century. New York, London, 1976, pp. 139-140, fig. 75
Maclagan, Eric and Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture. Text. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1932, p. 91
Arnoldi, Franceso Negri, 'Scultura Italiana al Victoria and Albert Museum I&II. In: Commentari, anno XXI, June-July 1970. Fascicoli, pp. 213-214
Pope-Hennessy, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Volume I: Text. Eighth to Fifteenth Century. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964, p. 210, 211

Materials

Terracotta

Subjects depicted

Men

Categories

Sculpture; Portraits

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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