Profile of a Prelate
18th century, Red wax
This small tondo in a gilded frame with a green background shows the profile, in red wax, of a clergyman whose identity remains unknown. It is modelled after Roman medals, with the half-length figure shown in profile. It is difficult to determine the origins and name of the waxworker, but they were probably of the French school: we may note the similarity to terracotta portrait-medallions by the artist Jean-Baptiste Nini (Urbino 1717–Chaumont-sur-Loire 1786), who was renowned in 18th-century France. The size and the choice of red wax recall the works of this well-known French medallist who portrayed monarchs such as Louis XV, Louis XVI, Catherine II of Russia, as well as various aristocrats, courtiers, and artists.