Bust of a Youth (Saint John the Baptist?)

Bust of young boy with large eyes and long curly hair, looking to his side.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Bust of young boy with large eyes and long curly hair, looking to his side.

Date:

1630/40

Artist:

Francesco Mochi
Italian, 1580-1654

About this artwork

One of the most individual sculptors of his age, Francesco Mochi possessed an astoun- ding technical prowess. Although his output was relatively small, Mochi was one of the most original artists to emerge in seventeenth-century Italy. His art is distinguished by energetic lines, dramatic movement, and subtle psychology. Here a taut precision characterizes the youth’s garment, and a carefully composed rhythm governs Mochi’s virtuoso treatment of the corkscrew curls. In contrast to the greater precision of the hair and drapery, the wistful expression of the youth, with his slightly parted lips, endows the sculpture with life. This work may have been conceived as a portrait, but it is more likely a biblical or mythological subject. The almost transcendent expression suggests that the sculpture may represent a religious figure, such as the youthful Saint John the Baptist. Its small scale suggests that the work was intended as an object for private contemplation.

Currently Off View

European Painting and Sculpture

Artist

Francesco Mochi

Title

Bust of a Youth (Saint John the Baptist?)

Origin

Italy

Date

1625–1645

Medium

Marble, on variegated black marble socle

Dimensions

40.5 × 33 × 29 cm (15 7/8 × 13 × 11 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

From the collection of the estate of Federico Gentili di Giuseppe; restricted gift of Mrs. Harold T. Martin through the Antiquarian Society; Major Acquisitions Centennial Endowment; through prior gift of Arthur Rubloff; European Decorative Arts Purchase Fund

Reference Number

1989.1

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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