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Bust of a Fate Central Italian Sculptor


Central Italian Sculptor active at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries

Culture Italian
Date Early 18th century (?)
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique marble

76 × 70 × 38 cm, 200 kg

Inventory number 4587
Collection Sculpture
On view Museum of Fine Arts, Ground Floor, Baroque Hall

The marble bust of a hideous, ageing woman depicts one of the goddesses of Fate in antique mythology, Lachesis. The Fates are the personification of inevitable destiny. Clotho spins, Lachesis measures, and Atropos cuts the thread of life with scissors. The bust may have been one in a series of multiple Fates. A nearly identical version depicting Lachesis is exhibited at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh and at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.There have been several copies on international art markets as well. There is no consensus on the datingand the creator of these brilliantly crafted sculptures.After the early attribution to Michelangelo (based on its resemblance to the Cumaean Sibyl in the Sistine Chapel),the name of different sculptors – Francesco da Sangallo(1494–1576), Giusto le Court (1627–1679), Antonio Montauti (1685–1740), and so on – came up.


Balogh, Jolán, Katalog der ausländischen Bildwerke des Museums der bildenden Künste in Budapest, IV – XVIII. Jahrhundert: 1. Textband Bd. 1, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1975, p. 141-142., no. 177.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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