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Plaster cast - Bust of Francesco di Tommaso Sassetti
  • Bust of Francesco di Tommaso Sassetti
    Rossellino, Antonio, born 1427 - died 1479
  • Enlarge image

Bust of Francesco di Tommaso Sassetti

  • Object:

    Plaster cast

  • Place of origin:

    Florence (original, sculpted)
    Florence (plaster cast, cast)

  • Date:

    1460-1469 (sculpted)
    ca. 1890 (cast)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rossellino, Antonio, born 1427 - died 1479 (made)
    Lelli, Oronzio (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster Cast, painted

  • Museum number:

    REPRO.1890-5

  • Gallery location:

    Cast Courts, Room 46b, The Weston Cast Court , case FS, shelf N

Francesco Sassetti was the director general of the Medici bank in Florence from 1459 to 1490. When the cast was purchased in 1890, the original was thought to be by Benedetto da Maiano (1442-1497), and has since been ascribed to Antonio Rossellino but there is no firm basis for either attribution. This type of portrait, depicting the sitter in classicizing costume based on Roman portrait busts, became popular in Florence during the 15th century. The plaster cast was supplied by Oronzio Lelli, one of the most important plaster cast manufacturers in Florence in the last 19th century.

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.

Place of Origin

Florence (original, sculpted)
Florence (plaster cast, cast)

Date

1460-1469 (sculpted)
ca. 1890 (cast)

Artist/maker

Rossellino, Antonio, born 1427 - died 1479 (made)
Lelli, Oronzio (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster Cast, painted

Dimensions

Height: 54.8 cm

Object history note

Purchased from Oronzio Lelli in 1890.

Historical context note

Francesco Sassetti was the director general of the Medici bank from 1459-90. The sitter has been identified through the resemblance of this bust to the portrait of Sassetti in the fresco by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1448/9-94) in the church of S. Trinità, Florence (1483-5). When the cast was purchased, the original was thought to be by Benedetto da Maiano (1442-97), and has since been ascribed to Antonio Rossellino (1427-79) but there is no firm basis for either attribution. This type of portrait, depicting the sitter in classicizing costume based on Roman portrait busts, became popular during the 15th century and was employed in 1464 by Mino da Fiesole for his bust of Dietisalvi Neroni in the Louvre.

Descriptive line

Plaster Cast, painted plaster, of the bust of Francesco di Tommaso Sassetti, after the original marble bust in the Museo Nazionale (Bargello), Florence, possibly by Antonio Rossellino, ca. 1460–9, cast by Oronzio Lelli, Italy (Florence), ca. 1890

Labels and date

Sassetti was the director general of the Medici bank in Florence. This type of portrait, based on Roman busts and depicting the sitter in classical costume, was popular in Florence during the Renaissance. The style also became fashionable in the 19th century in Britain, when this plaster reproduction would have been admired. It was made by Oronzio Lelli, once of the most important manufacturers of casts at that time. [2014]

Materials

Plaster

Categories

Ph_survey; Sculpture; Portraits; Plaster Cast

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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