The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Head of a Young Woman in the Antique (all’antica) style
  • Probably Antonio Lombardo (c. 1458 - 1516) , Modeller
  • Probably Severo Calzetta da Ravenna (c. 1465/75 - before 1538), Caster
  • Head of a Young Woman in the Antique (all’antica) style
  • Venice (model) and Padua (cast), Italy
  • c. 1500 - 1505
  • Head
  • Hollow-cast bronze; brass copper alloy
  • Object size: 15.5 x 18.7 cm
  • S62
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This bust of a young woman belongs to a group of five surviving small bronze sculptures. They reflect a taste for idealised representations of female beauty, popular in Venice at the beginning of the 16th century both in sculpture and painting. This cast is comparable for the high level of finish to another female bust today at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. It seems likely that the two were conceived as a pair and represented the prime versions for two other casts originally in the Este collection and today in Modena. A fifth surviving cast is in Berlin. The model for the head was probably devised in Venice by Antonio Lombardo (c. 1458 - 1516) who moved to Ferrara in 1506 to work for Alfonso d’Este. The second pair of bronzes, with some variants, might have therefore been taken to Ferrara to provide an example of Antonio’s skills or indeed have been modelled there and taken to Padua to be cast. The cast, with even, thick walls, was most likely made by Severo Calzetta (1465/75 – before 1538), known as Severo da Ravenna, around that time working in Padua. Technical aspects of the casting, such as the use of rectangular core pins and remains of the original plaster core material, strongly support this attribution. The small size and the high level of finish on all sides suggest that the head was made for close examination, probably to be displayed on a table in a collector’s cabinet.