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Ideal Head of a Woman Giovan Giorgio Lascaris Tullio Lombardi (previous attribution)


Giovan Giorgio Lascaris [?] 1496 – 1531 Padua

Tullio Lombardi (previous attribution) 1455 – 1532 Venice

Culture Italian
Date early 16th century
Object type relief
Medium, technique rock crystal, in silvered copper background

11 × 8 × 3,5 cm

Inventory number 79.2
Collection Sculpture
On view Museum of Fine Arts, Second Floor, European Sculpture 1350-1800, Gallery 2

Active in Venice, Padua, and Verona, Giovan Giorgio Lascaris was a sculptor of Greek origin who adopted the name of Pyrgoteles, a legendary gem engraver. It was recorded by Pliny the Elder that Pyrgoteles was the only gem carver permitted to execute Alexander the Great’s portrait in emerald. In 16th-century Venice, precious stone carving was revived under the influence of antique gems. Lascaris was not only a sculptor but also, a gem engraver. He carved in rock crystal the classicising bust of a woman seen in Budapest. In contemporary Venetian painting and sculpture, we find several ideal portraits where the identity of the subject or the theme is unknown. The rock crystal relief in Budapest is one of these.

Miriam Szőcs

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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