Beni Culturali Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico Artistico ed Etnoantropologico per il Polo Museale della città di Roma

Bust of a Man

Busto virile - Bust of a Male Figure
Object belonging
One's own
Bronze sculpture
Museo Nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia
Specific location
Room 17
PV 10803
Material and technique
Bronze, black lacquer on natural brown patina
Italian School
19th century
40 x 25.5 x 22 cm.
Auriti Collection (1963)
Image copyright
SSPSAE e per il Polo Museale della città di Roma

Short description

Leo Planiscig believed this bust was executed in Italy in the second half of the 16th century, deriving from a Classical bust of Augustus. Santangelo on the other hand suggested it depicts an unknown, but possibly Venetian, individual rather than Augustus. Peter Meller notes that the work’s style and technique is similar to busts he believes to be by Simone Bianco, a Tuscan active for almost forty years in Venice, works held in the Szépmüvészeti Museum in Budapest and in the Bode-Museum in Berlin. Erwin Bielefeld agrees with Santangelo on the date and its Venetian origin but does not believe it depicts a Venetian since the figure already appears in a marble bust from Pompei held in the Museo Nazionale in Naples. In 1985 Klaus Fittschen offered a very different hypothesis, suggesting that the features of the Palazzo Venezia bronze are so similar to the Naples bust, which was found in the Casa del Citarista in Pompei in 1868, that the latter must be its model, indicating that the bronze would have been made after the 19th century. The workmanship, indeed, does not suggest it is either a classical or a Renaissance sculpture, but instead a copy produced by a skilful caster in the 19th century.

Pietro Cannata


A. Santangelo, Museo di Palazzo Venezia. La Collezione Auriti, Rome 1964, pp. 25-26; E. Bielefeld,  Zu einem Kopf im Palazzo Venezia, in "Pantheon", no. 27, 1969, p. 9-11; P. Meller, Marmi e bronzi di Simone Bianco, in "Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz", 21, 2, 1977, p. 199-210; K. Fittschen, Sul ruolo del ritratto antico nell'arte italiana, Turin 1985, p. 398, no. 24; P. Cannata, Laboratorio di Restauro 2, Rome 1988, pp. 204-207.

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Page created 15/01/2009, last modify 15/11/2010