Artworks   |   Christ the Redeemer, ca. 1510/1520

Benedetto Buglioni - Florence 1549/1460 - 1521

Christ the Redeemer, ca. 1510/1520

Terracotta bust, cm. 56 x 50 x 23

Suggested Bibliography:
A. Marquand, Benedetto and Santi Buglioni, Princeton 1921
G. Passavant, Verrocchio. Sculture, pitture e disegni, Venezia 1969;
G. Gentilini, I Della Robbia. La scultura invetriata nel Rinascimento, Florence 1992, II, pp. 390-497; I Della Robbia e l’ “arte nuova” della scultura invetriata, exhibition catalogue (Fiesole) ed. G. Gentilini, Florence 1998, pp. 332-361; L. Lorenzi, Il Maestro del Bigallo e la bottega di Andrea del Verrocchio, in “Ceramica Antica”, 11, 2001, 1, pp. 50-65; P. Helas, Ondulationen zur Christusbüste in Italien (ca. 1460 - 1525), in Kopf / Bild. Die Büste in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit, ed. J. Kohl and R. Müller, München - Berlin 2007, pp. 153-209; I Della Robbia. Il dialogo tra le Arti nel Rinascimento, exhibition catalogue (Arezzo) ed. G. Gentilini, Milan 2009, passim.

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The Redeemer appears vital and thoughtful, in a robe fashioned from simply virtuous, wavy ripples to create a mantle.  The vital naturalism of the subject is astonishing, fuelling the strong vitalistic naturalism of the subject, the fineness of the camisole embellished with embroidery of a cherub and open upon the chest, which seems to be feeling the weight of the curious button pulling on the flap of fabric in contrast to the part where the slot is free and more light.  Similar details of realistic narrative in the rest of the characteristics are reflected in the features and vivid physiognomy of Christ, not hoisted in a frontal pose, but looking back to his left with a mild expression.  The facial features have an exceptional quality of modelling, standing for the interpretation of the sinuous, flowing locks, combine with the meticulous details of the snails of the beard and the sensitive anatomical workings of the face, nose and eyes.  All of these peculiarities have remained thanks to good preservation which must have characterised the history of this terracotta, showing no significant restoration work, except for some small spots of the head where, as often happens.

Francesco Ortenzi

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