Bust of Paris

Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850)
1823, White marble

The bust was commenced by Antonio Canova, and was completed by Lorenzo Bartolini in 1823. The thick curls peeking out from under the cone-shaped Phrygian cap display masterful skill. Pharisees is a character from Greek mythology. He was the second-born son to Priamus, King of Troy, and Ecuba. Antonio Canova (1757-1822) had an outstanding artistic talent for bringing the ancient beauty of Greek statues back to life in his works.

Yet above all he evoked their grace, which he perceived as an ideal only the artist can portray, avoiding violent passion and heavy-handed gestures, and distancing his approach from skin-deep Rococo sensuality. As an artist, he studied how to recreate the techniques of the ancient Greek sculptures. He was highly influenced by the topics and classics of Greek mythology, first and foremost of which were Homer’s works, and which he had read to him while he worked. Lorenzo Bartolini directed the Academy of Fine Arts at Carrara during the Napoleonic period, and established new approaches to sculpture in the wake of neoclassicism, drawing on Antonio Canova for inspiration.