Giovanni Raimondo Torlonia, Duke of Bracciano
School of Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), Pietro Tenerani? (1789-1869)
19th century, Marble
The bust of banker Giovanni Raimondo Torlonia (1754-1829), created at the same time as that of his wife Anna Maria, appears to have been modeled after his funerary mask, which is kept at the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen. Its strong features and the steadiness of the gaze do in fact make it look as if it were a portrait taken after his death. The details of the physiognomy, such as the Roman nose, the sunken eyes and the receding hairline, are very realistic. Idealization is only preserved in the old-fashioned drapery that completely covers the bust. This marble portrait was not produced in Thorvaldsen’s atelier, but is possibly the work of a talented student who had achieved a certain fame by that time and was thus capable of taking on such an important job without his Danish master’s supervision. This would suggest Pietro Tenerani, whose half-naked, draped figure of Giovanni Torlonia, created for the duke’s majestic burial monument but never completed, shows certain stylistic similarities.