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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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. He is now most admired for his portrait busts that have great vivacity and dignity.
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.
The sculpture of ancient Greece is the main surviving type of fine ancient Greek art as, with the exception of painted ancient Greek pottery, almost no ancient Greek painting survives. Modern scholarship identifies three major stages in monumental sculpture in bronze and stone: the Archaic, Classical (480-323) and Hellenistic. 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.
Classical sculpture refers generally to sculpture from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, as well as the Hellenized and Romanized civilizations under their rule or influence, from about 500 BC to around 200 AD. It may also refer more precisely a period within Ancient Greek sculpture from around 500 BC to the onset of the Hellenistic style around 323 BC, in this case usually given a capital "C". The term "classical" is also widely used for a stylistic tendency in later sculpture, not restricted to works in a Neoclassical or classical style.
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.
Antonio Raggi (1624–1686), also called Antonio Lombardo, was a sculptor of the Roman Baroque, originating from today's Ticino.
The Venus Genetrix is a sculptural type which shows the Roman goddess Venus in her aspect of Genetrix, as she was honoured by the Julio-Claudian dynasty of Rome which claimed her as their ancestor. Contemporary references identify the sculptor as a Greek named Arcesilaus. The statue was set up in Julius Caesar's new forum, probably as the cult statue in the cella of his temple of Venus Genetrix. 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.
Etruscan art was produced by the Etruscan civilization in central Italy between the 10th and 1st centuries BC. From around 750 BC it was heavily influenced by Greek art, which was imported by the Etruscans, but always retained distinct characteristics. Particularly strong in this tradition were figurative sculpture in terracotta, wall-painting and metalworking especially in bronze. Jewellery and engraved gems of high quality were produced.
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 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.
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).
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.
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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