Man in Rococo Attire
This impressive bust portrays Count Miklós Esterházy (1711–1764), ambassador to Russia at Saint Petersburg (between 1753 and 1761), depicted in full official dress with the decorations he received from the tsar’s court, wearing the Saint Andrew’s medal on his chest and the ribbon of the order of Alexander Nevsky around his neck. The sculptor, as shown by the inscription on the right side of the plinth – “Alex Martelli F. Petropolis” – was the Italian master Alessandro Martelli, active in Saint Petersburg, who mainly made his name with his portraits. The Budapest piece is presumably identical with the bust once standing in the garden of the Esterházy Castle in Cseklész, already mentioned by eighteenth-century travellers. A version of the portrait bust, cast in bronze, can be found in the Museum of Kuny Domokos in Tata.
Balogh, Jolán – Szmodisné Eszláry, Éva, Katalog der ausländischen Bildwerke des Museums der bildenden Künste in Budapest, 4.-18. Jahrhundert, Bd. 3. Neuerwerbungen, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1994, p. 92., no. 111.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.