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Bust - Bartolommeo Colleoni
  • Bartolommeo Colleoni
    Verrocchio, Andrea del, born 1435 - died 1488
  • Enlarge image

Bartolommeo Colleoni

  • Object:

    Bust

  • Place of origin:

    Venice (original, made)
    Birmingham (or London; the cast , made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1885 (made)
    1480-1496 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Verrocchio, Andrea del, born 1435 - died 1488 (sculptor)
    Elkington & Co. (casters)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster cast

  • Museum number:

    REPRO.1885-198

  • Gallery location:

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

This is a plaster cast of the original bronze head of Bartolomeo Colleoni (died 1475), from the equestrian monument in Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Venice. Bartolommeo Colleoni (d. 1475) was a condottiere or mercenary leader, who had commanded the Venetian troops. In his will, he bequeathed a sum of money for this monument. The commission was awarded to Verrocchio in April 1480, but he left the statue unfinished at his death in 1488. It was cast by Alessandro Leopardi of Ferrara (1480- 96), whose signature appears on the girth of the horse. The plaster was cast by Elkington & Co. in Birmingham or London in about 1885.

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

Venice (original, made)
Birmingham (or London; the cast , made)

Date

ca. 1885 (made)
1480-1496 (made)

Artist/maker

Verrocchio, Andrea del, born 1435 - died 1488 (sculptor)
Elkington & Co. (casters)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster cast

Dimensions

Width: 29 cm base, Depth: 22.5 cm base

Object history note

Presented by the Right Hon. Sir J. Savile Lumley, GCB in 1885.

Historical context note

This head is from the large equestrian monument to Bartolommeo Colleoni (d. 1475), a condottiere or mercenary leader, who had commanded the Venetian troops. In his will, he bequeathed a sum of money for this monument. The commission was awarded to Verrocchio in April 1480, but he left the statue unfinished at his death in 1488. It was cast by Alessandro Leopardi of Ferrara, whose signature appears on the girth of the horse.

Descriptive line

Plaster Cast, of bust of Bartolomeo Colleoni, after bronze original from the equestrian monument in Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo (Venice), by Andrea del Verrocchio, Venice, 1480-96, cast by Elkington & Co., Birmingham or London, ca. 1885

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

Cruttwell, Maud, Verrocchio, London: Duckworth and Co, 1904, pp. 177-200
Passavant, G., Verrocchio. Sculptures, Paintings and Drawings, London: Phaidon, 1969, pp. 62-68
Seymour, Charles Jr, The Sculpture of Verrocchio, London: Studio Vista, 1971, pp. 62-64

Labels and date

Bartolomeo Colleoni was a military leader. This cast was taken from a great monument showing him on horseback. Verrocchio devoted the last years of his life to the monument, his masterpiece, though it was not finished until after his death. Casts of the full sculpture were made and displayed in other
collections in the 19th century, but this reproduction focuses on the animated face. [2014]

Production Note

Plaster cast reproduction after the original marble by Verrocchio

Materials

Plaster

Categories

Sculpture; Portraits; Plaster Cast

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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