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Statuette - Bearded Man
  • Bearded Man
    Vittoria, Alessandro, born 1525 - died 1608
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Bearded Man

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Florence (possibly)
    Venice (possibly)

  • Date:

    1550-1560 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Vittoria, Alessandro, born 1525 - died 1608 (after)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122, case 13

Object Type
An interest in antique culture and artefacts prompted the revival of the bronze statuette in 15th-century Italy. By the mid-16th century, when this bronze was made, sophisticated reproduction techniques were used. This model is known in five bronze versions and there is a wax version in the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Design & Designing
The designer of this work is unknown, but it has been associated with Michelangelo, or one of his followers, and with Alessandro Vittoria (1525-1608) who ran an important workshop in Venice. Drawings of this figure were made by the Venetian painter, Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-1594), who possibly copied a version made of cheaper material, such as plaster, clay or wax. The use of sculptural models for pictorial design was common practice.

Ownership & Use
Bronzes statuettes of this kind were often housed alongside antique examples by wealthy collectors, and displayed on shelves in their studies, above doorways and other settings.They would also have been handled and admired by their owners. The only way to see the face of this bronze properly is to turn it in one's hands to appreciate the spiral composition of the figure more fully.

Physical description

Bearded naked man bending and twisting his upper body towards the left, stretching through the front his right arm and holding his left shoulder blade. His left arm touches his head and pushes it slightly to the left.

Place of Origin

Florence (possibly)
Venice (possibly)


1550-1560 (made)


Vittoria, Alessandro, born 1525 - died 1608 (after)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 36 cm, Width: 14 cm, Depth: 10.7 cm

Object history note

Cast after a model possibly by Alessandro Vittoria (born in Trent, Italy,1525, died in Venice, Italy, 1608).
Made in Florence or Venice, Italy.
Given by Dr. W. L. Hildburgh, F. S. A., 1956.

Descriptive line

Statuette, bronze, of a male nude, after Allessandro Vittoria, Italy, 1550-1560

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

The Genius of the Sculptor in Michelangelo's Works, exhib. cat., Motreal Museum of Fine Arts 1992, p. 197

Labels and date

British Galleries:

Towards the end of the 19th century many collectors and artists studied and admired Italian Renaissance bronzes of the 16th century. This figure of Perseus (?), a hero of classical mythology, was inspired by a sculpture of the same subject by Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571). [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Probably 1550-1560. Or Venice.



Subjects depicted

Naked man


Sculpture; Bronze


Sculpture Collection

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