Portrait of a Gentleman with Beard
16th century, Marble
The lack of any clue as to the original location of this remarkable marble bust or the identity of the person depicted makes it very difficult to formulate a reliable hypothesis about its provenance. The neatly truncated arms and the rounded profile of the lower portion of the bust suggest that it may have been placed within a circular niche, probably as part of a funerary monument. The severe compositional simplification and the austere rigour with which the gentleman's dress is sculpted may link it, although generically, to both Florentine and Emilian portraits (by Giovanni Caccini and Prospero Clemente, respectively, for example) from the latter part of the 16th century.