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Bust - A Male Saint

A Male Saint

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Ticino (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1630-1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with the assistance of Sir Eric Miller

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This bust and the companion bust (V&A no: A.57:1-1920), are said to have come from a church in the canton of Ticino, near the Swiss-Italian border. They probably formed part of an altarpiece or a large reliquary. Much of the surviving polychromy is original.

Physical description

Head of a male saint, bust in limewood. The head, which is tilted slightly upward to the left, is painted naturalistically. The hair is dark brown, and the cloak is gold on the outside and patterned red and gold on the inside. The breastplate (which is carved with a grotesque head on the chest), the pauldrons and the sleeves are coloured in gold and dark blue or black.

Place of Origin

Ticino (made)


ca. 1630-1650 (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 59.7 cm

Object history note

Bought from F. Partridge for £250 (Sir Eric Miller contributed £200).

Descriptive line

Bust, limewood, Head of a Male Saint, North Italy (Ticino), ca. 1630-1650

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

Pope-Hennessy, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Volume II: Text. Sixteenth to Twentieth Century. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964, p. 642
Raggio, Olga. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albertt Museum. Art Bulletin. Vol. L, 1968, p. 105
Montagu, Jennifer. Alessandro Algardi. New Haven and London, 1985, cat. 75 L. B. 2D. I., p. 383



Subjects depicted

Grotesques; Saints; Breastplates


Sculpture; Religion; Christianity


Sculpture Collection

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