A bust is a sculpted or cast representation of the upper part of the human figure, depicting a person's head and neck, and a variable portion of the chest and shoulders. The piece is normally supported by a plinth. The bust is generally a portrait intended to record the appearance of an individual, but may sometimes represent a type. They may be of any medium used for sculpture, such as marble, bronze, terracotta, plaster, wax or wood.
Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving and modelling, in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, since Modernism, there has been an almost complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded or cast.
In human anatomy, the head is at the top of the human body. It supports the face and is maintained by the skull, which itself encloses the brain.
The neck is the part of the body on many vertebrates that connects the head with the torso and provides the mobility and movements of the head. The structures of the human neck are anatomically grouped into four compartments; vertebral, visceral and two vascular compartments. Within these compartments, the neck houses the cervical vertebrae and cervical part of the spinal cord, upper parts of the respiratory and digestive tracts, endocrine glands, nerves, arteries and veins. Muscles of the neck are described separately from the compartments. They bound the neck triangles.
As a format that allows the most distinctive characteristics of an individual to be depicted with much less work, and therefore expense, and occupying far less space than a full-length statue, the bust has been since ancient times a popular style of life-size portrait sculpture. It can also be executed in weaker materials, such as terracotta.
A statue is a free-standing sculpture in which the realistic, full-length figures of persons or animals or non-representational forms are carved in a durable material like wood, metal, or stone. Typical statues are life-sized or close to life-size; a sculpture that represents persons or animals in full figure but that is small enough to lift and carry is a statuette or figurine, while one more than twice life-size is a colossal statue.
Terracotta, terra cotta or terra-cotta, a type of earthenware, is a clay-based unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the fired body is porous. Terracotta is the term normally used for sculpture made in earthenware, and also for various practical uses including vessels, water and waste water pipes, roofing tiles, bricks, and surface embellishment in building construction. The term is also used to refer to the natural brownish orange color of most terracotta, which varies considerably.
A sculpture that only includes the head, perhaps with the neck, is more strictly called a "head", but this distinction is not always observed.
Sculptural portrait heads from classical antiquity, stopping at the neck, are sometimes displayed as busts. However, these are often fragments from full-body statues, or were created to be inserted into an existing body, a common Roman practice;these portrait heads are not included in this article. Equally, sculpted heads stopping at the neck are sometimes mistakenly called busts.
Classical antiquity is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome known as the Greco-Roman world. It is the period in which Greek and Roman society flourished and wielded great influence throughout Europe, North Africa and Western Asia.
The portrait bust was a Hellenistic Greek invention, though very few original Greek examples survive, as opposed to many Roman copies of them. There are four Roman copies as busts of Pericles with the Corinthian helmet , but the Greek original was a full-length bronze statue. They were very popular in Roman portraiture.
The Bust of Pericles with the Corinthian Helmet is a bust of the Athenian statesman and general Pericles which survives in the form of four marble copies from the Roman Imperial period.
Roman portraiture was one of the most significant periods in the development of portrait art. Originating from ancient Rome, it continued for almost five centuries. Roman portraiture is characterised by unusual realism and the desire to convey images of nature in the high quality style often seen in ancient Roman art. Some busts even seem to show clinical signs. Several images and statues made in marble and bronze have survived in small numbers. Roman funerary art includes many portraits such as married couple funerary reliefs, which were most often made for wealthy freedmen rather than the patrician elite.
The Roman tradition may have originated in the tradition of Roman patrician families keeping wax masks, perhaps death masks, of dead members, in the atrium of the family house. When another family member died, these were worn by people chosen for the appropriate build in procession at the funeral, in front of the propped-up body of the deceased, as an "astonished" Polybius reported, from his long stay in Rome beginning in 167 BC.Later these seem to have been replaced or supplemented by sculptures. Possession of such imagines maiorum ("portraits of the ancestors") was a requirement for belonging to the Equestrian order.
A death mask is a likeness of a person's face after their death, usually made by taking a cast or impression from the corpse. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, or be used for creation of portraits. It is sometimes possible to identify portraits that have been painted from death masks, because of the characteristic slight distortions of the features caused by the weight of the plaster during the making of the mold.
In architecture, an atrium is a large open air or skylight covered space surrounded by a building. Atria were a common feature in Ancient Roman dwellings, providing light and ventilation to the interior. Modern atria, as developed in the late 19th and 20th centuries, are often several stories high and having a glazed roof or large windows, and often located immediately beyond the main entrance doors.
Polybius was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period noted for his work The Histories, which covered the period of 264–146 BC in detail. The work describes the rise of the Roman Republic to the status of dominance in the ancient Mediterranean world and includes his eyewitness account of the Sack of Carthage and Corinth in 146 BC, and the Roman annexation of mainland Greece after the Achaean War.
Some reliquaries were formed as busts, notably the famous Bust of Charlemagne in gold, still in the Aachen Cathedral treasury, from c. 1350. Otherwise it was a rare format.
The Bust of Charlemagne is a reliquary from around 1350 which is supposed to contain Charlemagne's skullcap. The reliquary is part of the treasure kept in the Aachen Cathedral Treasury. Made in the Mosan region, long a center of high-quality metalwork, the bust is a masterpiece both of late Gothic metalwork and of figural sculpture.
Aachen Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Aachen, western Germany, and the see of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen.
Busts began to be revived in a variety of materials, including painted terracotta or wood, and marble. Initially most were flat-bottomed, stopping slightly below the shoulders. Francesco Laurana, born in Dalmatia, but who worked in Italy and France, specialized in marble busts, mostly of women.
The round-bottomed Roman style, including, or designed to be placed on, a socle (a short plinth or pedestal), became most common. Gian Lorenzo Bernini, based in Rome, did portrait busts of popes, cardinals, and foreign monarchs such as Louis XIV. His Bust of King Charles I of England (1638) is now lost; artist and subject never met, and Bernini worked from the triple portrait painted by Van Dyck, which was sent to Rome. Nearly 30 years later, his Bust of the young Louis XIV was hugely influential on French sculptors. Bernini's rival Alessandro Algardi was another leading sculptor in Rome.
Alessandro Algardi was an Italian high-Baroque sculptor active almost exclusively in Rome, where for the latter decades of his life, he was, along with Francesco Borromini and Pietro da Cortona, one of the major rivals of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Gian LorenzoBernini was an Italian sculptor and architect. While a major figure in the world of architecture, he was, also and even more prominently, the leading sculptor of his age, credited with creating the Baroque style of sculpture. As one scholar has commented, "What Shakespeare is to drama, Bernini may be to sculpture: the first pan-European sculptor whose name is instantaneously identifiable with a particular manner and vision, and whose influence was inordinately powerful...." In addition, he was a painter and a man of the theater: he wrote, directed and acted in plays, for which he designed stage sets and theatrical machinery. He produced designs as well for a wide variety of decorative art objects including lamps, tables, mirrors, and even coaches.
Phidias or Pheidias was a Greek sculptor, painter, and architect. His statue of Zeus at Olympia was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Phidias also designed the statues of the goddess Athena on the Athenian Acropolis, namely the Athena Parthenos inside the Parthenon, and the Athena Promachos, a colossal bronze which stood between it and the Propylaea, a monumental gateway that served as the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens. Phidias was the son of Charmides of Athens. The ancients believed that his masters were Hegias and Ageladas.
Roman art refers to the visual arts made in Ancient Rome and in the territories of the Roman Empire. Roman art includes architecture, painting, sculpture and mosaic work. Luxury objects in metal-work, gem engraving, ivory carvings, and glass are sometimes considered in modern terms to be minor forms of Roman art, although this would not necessarily have been the case for contemporaries. Sculpture was perhaps considered as the highest form of art by Romans, but figure painting was also very highly regarded. The two forms have had very contrasting rates of survival, with a very large body of sculpture surviving from about the 1st century BC onward, though very little from before, but very little painting at all remains, and probably nothing that a contemporary would have considered to be of the highest quality.
The Glyptothek is a museum in Munich, Germany, which was commissioned by the Bavarian King Ludwig I to house his collection of Greek and Roman sculptures. It was designed by Leo von Klenze in the neoclassical style, and built from 1816 to 1830. Today the museum is a part of the Kunstareal.
Ancient Greek sculpture is the sculpture of ancient Greece. Modern scholarship identifies three major stages in monumental sculpture. At all periods there were great numbers of Greek terracotta figurines and small sculptures in metal and other materials.
The Capitoline Museums is a single museum containing a group of art and archaeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy. The historic seats of the museums are Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo, facing on the central trapezoidal piazza in a plan conceived by Michelangelo in 1536 and executed over a period of more than 400 years. The history of the museum can be traced to 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated a collection of important ancient bronzes to the people of Rome and located them on the Capitoline Hill. Since then, the museums' collection has grown to include many ancient Roman statues, inscriptions, and other artifacts; a collection of medieval and Renaissance art; and collections of jewels, coins, and other items. The museums are owned and operated by the municipality of Rome.
François Duquesnoy or Frans Duquesnoy was a Flemish Baroque sculptor in Rome. His more idealized representations are often contrasted with the emotional character of Bernini's works, while his style shows greater affinity to Algardi's sculptures.
The study of Roman sculpture is complicated by its relation to Greek sculpture. Many examples of even the most famous Greek sculptures, such as the Apollo Belvedere and Barberini Faun, are known only from Roman Imperial or Hellenistic "copies". At one time, this imitation was taken by art historians as indicating a narrowness of the Roman artistic imagination, but, in the late 20th century, Roman art began to be reevaluated on its own terms: some impressions of the nature of Greek sculpture may in fact be based on Roman artistry.
The sculptural type of Venus Genetrix shows the Roman goddess Venus in her aspect of Genetrix (mother), as she was honoured by the Julio-Claudian dynasty of Rome, who followed the precedent of Julius Caesar in claiming her as their ancestor. Through this historical chance, a Roman designation is applied to an iconological type of Aphrodite that originated among the Greeks.
The Athena of Velletri or Velletri Pallas is a type of classical marble statue of Athena, wearing a helmet.
Giuseppe Mazzuoli was an Italian sculptor working in Rome in the Bernini-derived Baroque style. He produced many highly accomplished sculptures of up to monumental scale but was never a leading figure in the Roman art world.
Romano Vio was an Italian sculptor. He was born in Venice and taught sculpture there.
Roman Republican portraiture was practiced during the period of the Roman Republic. Examples of Roman portraiture, both sculpture and painting, are more abundant for the Imperial period. Republican portraiture is characterized by verism influenced by Hellenistic portraiture, and survives mainly as marble and bronze sculpture. Roman portrait busts are thought to derive in part from death masks or funerary commemorations, as elite Romans displayed ancestral images (imagines) in the atrium of their home (domus).
Brutus is a marble bust of Brutus sculpted by Michelangelo around 1539–1540. It is now in the Bargello museum in Florence.
The Bust of Pope Gregory XV is a marble portrait sculpture by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Executed in 1621, the work is one of three busts of the subject created by Bernini—the other two were bronze casts. The marble bust is on permanent display at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It was donated to the museum by Joey and Toby Tanenbaum.
The Busts of Pope Innocent X are two portrait busts by the Italian artist Gianlorenzo Bernini of Pope Innocent X, Giovanni Battista Pamphili. Created around 1650, both sculptures are now in the Galleria Doria Pamphili in Rome. Like the two busts of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, it is believed that Bernini created a second version of the bust once a flaw was discovered in the first version. There exist several similar versions of the bust done by other artists, most notably Alessandro Algardi.
The Statue of Carlo Barberini was a large statue of the brother of Pope Urban VIII, Carlo Barberini, erected in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome, following his death in 1630. The statue made use of an existing antique statue of Julius Caesar. The Roman authorities then commissioned the two most renowned sculptures of the day, Gianlorenzo Bernini and Alessandro Algardi, to add to the torso; Bernini worked on the head and Algardi on the limbs.
The Capitoline Brutus is an ancient Roman bronze bust commonly thought to depict the Roman consul Lucius Junius Brutus, usually dated to the late 4th to early 3rd centuries BC, but perhaps as late as the 2nd century BC, or early 1st century BC. The bust is 69 cm (27 in) in height and is currently located in the Hall of the Triumphs within the Capitoline Museums, Rome. Traditionally taken to be an early example of Roman portraiture and perhaps by an Etruscan artist influenced by Hellenistic art and contemporary Greek styles of portraiture, it may be "an archaizing work of the first century BC". The Roman head was provided with a toga-clad bronze bust during the Renaissance.
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