Bust of Boccaccio

Giovan Francesco Rustici
Italy, late 16th or 17th century
Bronze bust, mounted on a modern frame of marble and porphyry.
bust: 15 x 16 1/2 x 7 inches (381 x 419 x 178 mm); marble frame (including porphyry background): 41 x 28 5/16 x 6 1/2 inches
Bequest of J.P. Morgan, Jr.

This bronze bust was cast after Giovanni Francesco Rustici's 1503 marble bust of Boccaccio for the author's tomb in Certaldo. The cast was made later, at a time when the tomb was dismantled and relocated, possibly in the 18th or early 19th century. It was long thought to be a bust of Petrarca until research revealed that it was made after the Certaldo bust. Duveen Brothers produced the marble frame for the bust in 1910.

Said to have come from the Ducal Palace, Urbino; Barberini Collection, Rome (listed in the 1649 inventory of Cardinal Francesco Barberini [III.49.997, Lavin 1975] as “una testa e parte del busto del Petrarcha fatta di bronzo, alta un palmo e mezzo in circa”); Durlacher Brothers, London; from whom purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan in 1909.